GLADEVILLE — Gavin Johnson returned to Wilson Central’s lineup two games ago after missing just over three weeks with a high ankle sprain.
The Gavin Johnson the Wildcats are used to seeing returned to the floor Friday night as the junior poured in 25 points to lead Central to a season sweep of visiting Lebanon 59-54.
The 6-foot-7 junior also made a game-saving defensive play when he blocked JaKeese Turner’s driving layup after freshman Jeremiah Hastings’ three-pointer drew the Blue Devils within 57-54 with 25 seconds left and Lebanon got a steal.
“He came back with a vengeance tonight for sure,” Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said of Johnson. “He’s such a tough matchup with his size and his skill.”
Johnson sparked Central with 10 first-period points as the Wildcats claimed a 15-10 lead. Former Blue Devil Dawson Hamilton took over in the second with eight of his 10, including a pair of three-pointers, as the home team took a 32-24 lead into halftime.
“They hit some shots in the first half and got a lead and we settled for some shots,” McDowell said. “I was proud of the way our kids battled back.”
Lebanon’s Cameron Oliver, scoreless in the first half, scored all 10 third-period points. But Central tallied 11 for a 43-34 lead going into the fourth as Johnson ended the period with the second of his two triples.
Zay Kern scored seven for Central while Cole Booth supplied six, Nate Ochoa four, Kyzick Schweppe and Kito Aruh three each and Kene Aruh a free throw as the Wildcats broke a four-game losing streak and climbed to 12-11 for the season and 4-6 in District 9-AAA.
Oliver led Lebanon with all 15 of his points after halftime while Eddie Jackson was solid throughout the evening with 14 inside and Hastings 10 from the point. Turner totaled eight points and Noah Mulaski seven as the Blue Devils dropped to 14-7, 6-3.
Bears pound Panthers
MT. JULIET — Mt. Juliet celebrated Coming Home with a 64-36 win over Portland on Friday night.
The Golden Bears bolted to a 21-7 first-quarter lead and were up 38-17 going into halftime as they moved into a tie for second place in District 9-AAA with Gallatin at 7-3. Station Camp leads at 7-2.
Isaac Stephens scored 13 points from the post for Mt. Juliet. Joey Hayes hit four three-pointers as he and Jordan Lockridge each tossed in 12 while Tony Thompson supplied seven, Trey Pruitt six, Terrell Wilson and Gavin Wilson three apiece and Bailey Bryant, J.C. Crawford, Will Pruitt and Brian Aiken two each as the Golden Bears improved to 15-8 for the season.
Bryce Keith tossed in 10 for the Panthers, who fell to 3-1, 0-10.