Johnson High hosted the Apalachee Wildcats Tuesday and the visitors left with a 14-point, 73-59, victory.
“We had a gameplan and I’m pretty pleased with how we executed that gameplan,” said Johnson coach Tim Slater. “The plan was to give up contested outside shots. I’d be shocked if they shot less than 50 percent from outside the 3-point line.”
Butler University commit Kamar Baldwin scored 10 points in the first quarter that pushed Apalachee to a 21-9 lead after a quarter.
Five points from Johnson’s (2-7) Travarian Lott in the second period helped the Knights match the Wildcats’ 14 to go to the halftime break down 35-23.
“We’re just so inexperienced right now,” Slater said. “We’ve got one kid with any varsity experience. Essentially, this whole season right now is a learning process trying to get ready for January. When you’re this inexperienced and this young, it takes time. It’s a process.
“Experience is painful and it’s expensive,” he said. “The only way to get it is to take your lumps. We’ve got a lot of young kids playing.”
The Wildcats went on to outscore the Knights by two down the stretch to secure the win.
Baldwin finished the game with 28 points on the night, with 15 points coming off 3-pointers alone.
“They’ve got a kid that’s pretty special,” Slater said. “Butler is getting a great player in Kamar. He’s going to be really, really good for them in that style. Every time we would get within single digits or within striking distance, he would come down and make sure he kept us at arm’s length. He would hit big shots or create for his teammates.”
Jabari Hill hit a pair of 3-pointers on the way to 10 points.
Overall, Apalachee knocked down nine baskets from beyond the arc.
For Johnson, Andrew Sims led the way with 19 points, 10 of which were scored in the fourth quarter.
Slater said the Knights turned their focus to working the offense through Sims in the fourth quarter, hoping it would open up shooters on the backside of the defense and eventually allow Sims to capitalize on the inside.
Travarian Lott hit three of Johnson’s four 3-pointers on his way to 11 points.
Qua Butler and Ahmad Harrison both scored 11 points for the Knights as well.
APALACHEE GIRLS 54, JOHNSON 48 (OT): The Lady Wildcats fought back from a 13-point first-quarter deficit to force overtime and eventually pull out a win over the Lady Knights (1-8).
Apalachee was down 12 with 1:29 left in the third quarter, 34-22.
The Lady Wildcats went on a 17-5 run to draw level with Johnson.
The two jockeyed back and forth before an Apalachee free throw with 11.8 seconds from the end of regulation tied the game and sent it to overtime tied at 43-43.
The free throw capped a 17-point fourth quarter effort for the Lady Wildcats.
Apalachee knocked down six of seven free throws in the overtime period to put the game away.
Shania Thomas led the Lady Wildcats with 28 points, 17 of which were scored in the fourth quarter and overtime period combined.
Briana Bryson finished the game with 12 for Apalachee. Caroline Odum led Johnson with 14 points.
Katie Wiese opened the game by making 3-pointers on three straight possessions on her way to 12 points on the night.
She added another 3-pointer in the third quarter.
Kimmie Brady added 11 points for the home team.
Up next for Johnson, the boys play Atlanta International School at 7 p.m. Friday.
The girls play again Dec. 28 as they open the first round of the Lanierland tournament against Gainesville at 6:30 p.m.