It’s no secret by now that Drexel has a special talent in Javyn Johnston. The senior is putting up 22.4 points a game, after all, and anyone who plays the Bobcats knows that’s the player they have to stop.
Sherwood tried to stop Johnston with a box-and-one defense, which wasn’t a bad idea considering how he is the centerpiece of Drexel’s offense. But box-and-ones aren’t boxing him in as much as they used to.
Johnston got his points – 28 of them – in Drexel’s 64-52 win over Sherwood Feb. 11 in the Marksmen’s gym. But there were times when Sherwood kept him from getting his shots and times when they just weren’t falling. When that happened, he found other ways to be effective.
“He’s done a really good job the last three or four weeks of recognizing that and playing through the other players,” Drexel coach Dennis Bolton said. “He plays through them and allows them to make the shots.”
Bolton said Johnston, who averages nearly four assists and eight rebounds a game, has become better at finding shots for the other Bobcats when he’s being kept in check. Part of that, of course, comes from experience. But Johnston said it’s mostly a matter of trust.
“Early on in the year our team would struggle when I wouldn’t shoot well,” Johnston said. “I’m getting better at finding the open guys.
“But most of all, I’m trusting my teammates, which is something I struggled with early on in the year. I’m trusting these guys to make shots and that’s a big thing for our team.”
Mark Willy benefited from that trust. Johnston assisted on two of his three three-pointers, two of which came as Drexel, 12-7, built a 29-16 lead early in the second quarter.
Drexel maintained a double-digit lead most of the game, but Sherwood, 6-13, wouldn’t go away. With sophomore John Miles hitting three-pointers and slashing to the basket for 20 points and senior Zack Matson chipping in 19 points, the Marksmen were able to cut the lead to eight points in the third quarter and to nine midway through the fourth.
But whenever Sherwood looked ready to make a run, Drexel would counter with one of its own.
“I was proud of our kids, I thought they played their hearts out,” Sherwood coach Darren Daughenbaugh said. “But every time we made a run at (Drexel) they always seemed to have an answer.”
Drexel’s girls had all the answers as they rolled to a 60-37 victory. The Bobcats, 16-3, led 28-19 at the half and outscored Sherwood 20-8 in the third quarter to put the game away.
Jacy Bolton and Lauryn Campbell scored 13 points apiece and Adison Barnhart added 11 to lead Drexel. Sherwood, 5-14, got 11 points from Vanessa Graef and 10 from Kaylee Adams.