Basketball: Johnson leads Shaw past Catholic, 77-69

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MARRERO – A pair of teams ranked fourth in the power rankings in their respective classes looked to enhance their lofty positions Friday night at The Eagle’s Nest.

Catholic High of Baton Rouge was a hot team, winners of 10 of 11 games and with a balanced attack that was out in force again.

While the Bears had balance, the Eagles had Kam Johnson.

The senior guard and Loyola commit exploded for 36 points with five rebounds and three assists and Shaw downed Catholic 77-69 at The Eagles Nest for its sixth straight win.

“I was just trying to be aggressive, trying to score,” Johnson said. “When I saw the ball going in early, I just wanted to keep putting up shots. We knew Catholic is always a good team. We just came out with fire and energy. We came out and got the W. We executed on defense. Free throws win games at the end. I feel like we are playing our best ball right now.”

In a game of runs on both sides, the first quarter saw three ties and three lead changes with Shaw taking a 17-16 lead behind 11 points from Johnson.

The second quarter was all about runs with five lead changes and two ties as the Eagles went on a 9-0 run to take a 26-20 lead before the Bears answered with a 9-0 run to take a 29-26 lead. Shaw closed the half on a 5-0 run to take a 34-31 halftime lead as Johnson had 21 points in the half.

Shaw expanded the lead to 49-40 in the third quarter, which had three lead changes and two ties before the Bears went on an 11-0 run to take a 51-49 lead. The Eagles closed the quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 54-52 lead into the fourth quarter.

In the final frame, Shaw opened with a 7-0 run to make it 61-52 and never trailed again. Catholic closed to within 66-62 but the Eagles made key free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

“We struggled with what we were trying to do in the first half,” Shaw coach Wes Laurendine said. “We wound up pulling it out in the end against a great team. It’s great to have No. 3 (Johnson). I’ve been saying it for a long time. I don’t know how many times I can say it. He puts a lot of fans in the seats. We had chances to put them away but they kept coming back.”

The Eagles ended the Bears season a year ago with a 73-55 victory in the Division I quarterfinals. This time around, it was tougher but Shaw was toughest when it mattered most.

Johnson nailed five 3-pointers and converted 9 of 12 free throw attempts. The Eagles were 18 of 24 from the free throw line. Aidan Lasalle scored 19 points while William Lewis Jr. had seven points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles.

Tate McCurry led Catholic with 21 points and five rebounds, Dennis Hebert III had 15 points, Dylan Gifford scored 13 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter and Stan Levy finished with 11 points. The Bears made 14 of 16 free throw attempts.

Shaw (18-4) will return to District 10-4A play Tuesday at Helen Cox while Catholic (19-5), which had won 10 of 11 games, will host East Ascension Tuesday evening.

“We’re a different team than we were a month ago,” Laurendine said. “There are young guys getting their first varsity minutes this season and they are growing every day. We’re here to win a district championship and a state championship. We talked about that with Kam when we got here and here we are.”

Shaw 17 17 20 23 — 77
Cath 16 15 21 15 — 69

Shaw—Kam Johnson 36, Aidan Lasalle 19, William Lewis Jr. 7, Christian Creppel 7, Xavier Meyers 4, Corey Waits 2

Cath—Tate McCurry 21, Dennis Hebert III 15, Dylan Gifford 13, Stan Levy 11, Conner Green 5, Brady Broussard 4

Rebounds: Shaw 23, Catholic 19

Turnovers: Shaw 11, Catholic 7

Area Prep Basketball Results from Friday, Jan. 27

Archbishop Hannan 59, Pearl River 18
Archbishop Shaw 77, Catholic (BR) 69
Bonnabel 82, Grace King 35
Chalmette 43, West Jefferson 39
Country Day 56, De La Salle 37
East St. John 79, Thibodaux 46
Ecole Classique 30, Lutheran 25
French Settlement 69, Northlake Christian 58
Hammond 68, Slidell 60
Holden 64, Christ Episcopal 34
Holy Cross 65, John Curtis Christian 55
John Ehret 73, East Jefferson 70
Karr 50, Jesuit 38
Kenner Discovery 67, Varnado 43
Patterson 48, Donaldsonville 46
Ponchatoula 56, Mandeville 35
Pope John Paul II 55, Springfield 38
Salmen 88, Loranger 61
St. Augustine 53, Brother Martin 41
St. James 84, Berwick 54
St. Martin’s Episcopal 53, St. Charles Catholic 44
St. Paul’s 69, Covington 55

Academy of Sacred Heart 45, Morris Jeff Community 11
Amite 70, Pine 33
Destrehan 46, Hahnville 41
East St. John 52, Thibodaux 45
Geo Next Generation 42, South Plaquemines 36
Loranger 79, Salmen 51
Northshore 68, Fontainebleau 55
Patterson 61, Donaldsonville 43
Ponchatoula 70, Mandeville 45
Slidell 42, Hammond 30
Springfield 44, Pope John Paul II 23
St. Helena 55, Independence 2
St. James 65, Berwick 16
St. Scholastica 50, Lakeshore 48
University Lab 69, Karr 50
Vandebilt Catholic 59, Lutcher 7

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Ken Trahan


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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