Published in The News-Herald
January 9, 2020
The Brush girls basketball team doesn’t have a lot of senior leadership.
But the Arcs certainly have enough.
Dalayah Johnson — the lone senior on the team — hit two free throws with 16.1 seconds on the clock, leading the host Arcs to a 55-52 win over Kenston in a game that saw both teams build big leads and lose them.
After Kenston sophomore Catara DeJarnette made two free throws with 17.5 seconds remaining to pull the Bombers within one point at 53-52, Johnson was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass.
Johnson, who spent most of the night draining 3-pointers from long range as part of a 20-point night, calmly stepped to the charity stripe and swished both shots for the three-point lead.
The Bombers missed a late 3-ball, Brush took control and dribbled out the clock.
“It’s a lot of pressure. But that something we work on every day in practice,” Johnson said. “If we don’t hit a certain amount (of free throws), we’re gonna run. All I was thinking is my team is going to suffer if I don’t make these.”
The Arcs (7-5, 5-1 Western Reserve Conference) feature seven sophomores on their 12-player varsity roster, which might explain why they have runs like they had in opening a 24-12 lead midway through the second quarter, followed by dry spells like the one they experienced when Kenston took a 40-32 lead late in the third.
The growing pains and up-and-down nature might have forced the Brush faithful to take Dramamine to sustain the roller-coaster ride through 12 games. But Coach DeMarris Winters has a message.
“We’re going to be really, really good. And soon,” Winters said. “I liken it to riding a bike. You don’t know when they’re going to stop wobbling and falling. But one day they’re going to get it and they’re going to ride forever.
“Once we get it, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.”