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Back to Back: Johnstown defeats North Union to win their second straight district title

By Cameron Carter, 03/05/21, 10:45PM EST

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Jake Lusk and Gavin Foe combine for 37 points to lead the Johnnies

JOHNSTOWN, Ohio -- It was RAINING THREES in Johnstown Friday night as the Johnnies shot their way to their second straight district championship, defeating North Union by a score of 58-49. Seniors Jake Lusk (21) and Gavin Foe (16) dominated for the Johnnies, combining for 37 points in the victory. 

Johnstown has won back to back district championships for the first time in school history. Congratulations to the Johnnies deep senior class on such an incredible achievement. They will continue their postseason in the regional semifinals on Wednesday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m. when they face the winner of Western Reserve and Willard. The game will take place at Elida HS. 

It was a slow start for Johnstown on Friday as they got behind 9-2 in the first four minutes of the game. 6-foot-7 junior post Zach Vernon of North Union went to work right out of the gate, scoring on three straight possessions at the beginning of the game. 

The Wildcats looked to feed their big man early and often as Vernon got post touches on the first five possessions of the game. Though he had success to start the night, Lusk went on to keep Vernon quiet for the remainder of the game. 

After North Union jumped out to their lead, it was all Johnnies for the rest of the half. The squad in their home-whites proceeded to hit seven threes in the first two quarters, jumping out to a 36-22 lead at the break.

The third quarter got off to a similar start as Foe began to take over for the Johnnies. Stepping over to draw a charge and scoring on a number of good takes were just a few things the senior did for his team early on in the second half.

Just when Johnstown stretched their lead to 16, the largest of the night, North Union began clawing back. The Wildcats ended the third quarter on a 12-2 run to cut the lead down to eight going into the fourth quarter. 

North Union senior guard and Ohio Wesleyan commit Preston Crabtree was huge in that run. Crabtree didn’t have a great night, however he scored nine points in that third quarter which gave his team the chance to come back. 

The Wildcats got the lead down to six, but in the end Johnstown was just too much to handle. The defense of Lusk and Foe combined with the free throw shooting down the stretch secured the Johnnies a Division III district title for the second straight year. 

Congratulations to North Union on going a fantastic 19-4 on the season and best wishes to their graduating seniors, Trevyn Feasel, Crabtree, and Hudson Davis. Good luck to Johnstown as they represent central Ohio in the regional tournament!

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