Johnson's late shot lifts DuBourg over Affton

Johnson's late shot lifts DuBourg over Affton

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Area banks reopened Tuesday after a holiday break.

And the bank certainly was open for DuBourg senior basketball player Julian Johnson.

Johnson banked in a shot with 2.9 seconds left to give the Cavaliers a 50-48 victory over Affton in the opening round of the Affton Christmas Tournament.

"I am not a glam and glitz guy," Johnson said. "I was not the primary option on the play, but if I have to take the shot, I will. I was surprised that it went in."

Cavaliers coach Landon Champagnie said Johnson's game-winning effort was set up thanks to an adjustment.

"It was set up for one of our other guards, Tabari Dunlap," Champagnie said. "But he was stopped and made a good heads-up play to get it to Julian and he was not afraid to take the shot."

Dunlap ended the game by intercepting the Cougars' inbounds pass.

"I'm just glad that it didn't get into the hands of (Affton's Brian Bradford)," Johnson said. "I was doing all I could do to stop him in the third and fourth quarters. I had my hands in his face, but he was insane."

Affton's Bradford, who finished with a game-high 23 points, hit a 3-pointer to set up Johnson's last-second heroics.

"It doesn't matter how they go in if they go in," Johnson said. "I had never made a buzzer beater like that before."

DuBourg (4-6) had beaten Affton by 11 points in the Southside Classic less than a month ago, but this game was tight from start to finish.

The Cavaliers jumped out to an early 10-3 lead. But Affton tied it 12-12 after the first quarter. Affton led 24-22 at halftime and scored the first four points of the second half. That six-point advantage was the largest by either team in the second half.

The Cougars (3-5) still had a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter. But DuBourg scored the first four points of the final period. Bradford kept Affton in the game as he hit four field goals, including a pair of 3-pointers.

"We have been waiting for that," Affton coach Jay Laue said of the offensive explosion by Bradford, who also excelled as a wide receiver on the football team. "He is capable of making that shot and also is very good at driving the ball like he did a couple of times today. He definitely kept us in the game."

But Bradford's late, game-tying 3-pointer was trumped by the bank shot by Johnson.

"You hate to lose a game on a last-second shot and especially one like that," Laue said. "But you have to make your breaks. You want to give yourself a chance to win, and it can't go in if you don't shoot it. They took the shot and it banked it."

Carlos Brickhouse added 11 points for the Cavaliers.

Champagnie said the Cavaliers should benefit from a recent tough schedule.

"We could have played better today," he said. "We have had a tough stretch recently playing Trinity, Cardinal Ritter and Lutheran Saxony. I think that helps us prepare for tournaments like this."

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