PATASKALA, Ohio -- Despite a late surge from Licking Heights, Johnstown held on late versus the Hornets on Wednesday night in an LCL matchup which they took home 51-44.
After a three from Jake Lusk and a score inside from Gavin Foe, Johnstown jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead and forced Licking Heights to calls a timeout with 5:35 left in the frame due to their suffocating defense.
The Johnnies never looked back after this, leading for the entirety of the game and pushing that lead to as much as 17 in the third quarter when Josh Potter covered an and-one that made it 38-21 with 2:42 left in the frame.
Despite Johnstown seeming to really take control of the game at this point, Licking Heights made a surge back late in the fourth quarter when Foe had to exit the game due to an apparent knee injury.
The Hornets forced Johnstown into a handful of turnovers due to their primary ball handler being on the bench and senior guard Jaivon Miller did everything that he could offensively to try and help mount a comeback, however it was too little too late.
Despite the loss, Miller led all scorers with 25 points in an impressive showing. If he can get some help, Licking Heights has a shot to surprise some teams in the LCL, as no other Hornets player scored more than four points tonight.
For Johnstown, Lusk led the way with 20 points while Foe added 16 of his own and Potter scored 12.
The Johnnies move to 2-1 following the win and host Heath next Monday night in a game between the LCL's two best squads.
Jake Lusk (6'3 WF / Johnstown / 2021): Consistency is the name of the game for Lusk, as the senior always seems to excel in his role and make a winning impact in so many ways every time that we watch him. Tonight was no different as the Navy football commit bruised guys on the inside for easy scores and dominated the glass to go along with showing off his continually improving perimeter game. Lusk hit a three off the catch to open the game tonight and scored a pair of buckets attacking off the bounce, something that makes the Johnnies' offense much more difficult to defend for opposing teams. While he is headed to college to play football, Lusk is excellent on the hardwood and is always a joy to watch every time we see him as you can tell he simply loves being out there and will do whatever it takes to win.
Jaivon Miller (6'1 PG / Licking Heights / 2021): Putting up 25 points to lead all scorers and getting buckets in a handful of ways, Miller impressed us with his play tonight. Literally the only source of offense for the Hornets, Miller worked well in the pick-and-roll, using his tight handle to get by defenders and finish near the rim and playing with a good pace. He hit a few shots from beyond the arc and got to the line on a handful of occasions as well, not shying away from contact and doing an excellent job of using his body. While Licking Heights really struggled offensively tonight, that was not the case for Miller, as despite missing some shots, he still managed to go for an efficient 25 points against one of the best defenses in the LCL.
Gavin Foe (6'3 WG / Johnstown / 2021): Continuing his hot start to the season tonight, Foe finished with an efficient 16 points to go along with a handful of assists and steals despite battling an injury late in the game. At 6-foot-3, Foe is one of the more athletic players in the area and is a tough defender on the perimeter with his combination of strength, length and quickness. He came up with a few steals, scored in transition and played within the offense great tonight as he usually does, however what really impressed us was the fact that Foe knocked down two shots from beyond-the-arc. Despite holding a trio of offers from Mount Vernon Nazarene, Fairmont State and Rio Grande, shooting has always been a bit of a hole in the seniors game. If he can continue to improve on that then Foe will become an even deadlier matchup for opposing guards in the LCL this season as his size and athleticism already set him apart.