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South rallies to defeat Johnstown in district title rematch

By Zach Fleer, 12/10/16, 7:50PM EST

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South rallied to take down Johnstown in a rematch of the last two Division II district finals

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Coming together for its fourth meeting in less than two years, South and Johnstown were set for another classic battle on Saturday evening. Coming down to the wire, South used an 8-1 run in the final two minutes to defeat Johnstown, 49-47.

Avenging two losses to the Johnnies last season, South rallied behind junior guard Naiquan Galloway, who scored a go-ahead bucket with 1:08 to go, then forced a steal on Johnstown's last full possession to put the game away at the free-throw line.

In a game that went back and forth for the entire fourth quarter, Johnstown took a 45-41 lead with two minutes to go, after one of junior wing Carson Carter's six field goals in the second half. Striking back with a 5-0 run sparked by Galloway, South took a momentary 46-45 lead, until Carter scored once again for the Johnnies to give Johnstown a 47-46 advantage.

South senior forward Lamont Broomfield struck back with an inside score, putting the Bulldogs ahead at 48-47 with 24 seconds remaining. Galloway would step up again for South, stripping Johnstown on the next possession, then hitting one of two free throws to lead South into victory.

Galloway scored all seven of his points in the second half, added by an assist and a huge steal. South was led by sophomore guard Treohn Watkins, who scored a team-high 14 points, knocking down two threes in the first half to spark the Bulldog offense. Broomfield and senior guard Bruelle Thompson each scored eight points, while junior wing Jeremiah Green added four points and two blocks, coming up clutch on the offensive glass and defensive interior in the second half. 

For Johnstown, Carter's 17 points were a game-high, as the junior wing scored 13 in the second half alone. Making big bucket after big bucket in the fourth quarter, Carter's performance was encouraging for Johnstown program expecting big things out of him this winter.

Senior post Kyle Matoszkia added 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, showing solid touch around the basket for stretches on Saturday. Senior forward Kyle Carpenter added eight points for the Johnnies, while no other Johnstown player scored more than five points on the night.

With the win, South heads into City League South play, opening up at Walnut Ridge on Tuesday. For Johnstown, the Johnnies will look to right the ship at home vs. Newark Catholic on Monday. 

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