Jack Johnson scores 32 as Andover advances to sub-state final
ANDOVER, Kansas—Andover senior Jack Johnson wasted little time showing who the most dominant player on the court was on Wednesday night.
The senior who dropped 41 points last week and then became the school’s all-time leading scorer two games later, showed up big time in the Class 5A sub-state.
“He’s a tough, good guard,” Kapaun interim Head Coach Jim Vanek said. “There’s a reason whe’s going to play basketball at the next level.”
Johnson didn’t wait until next year to show his moves. As the Kapaun student section chanted at him, Johnson split two redwoods to pull down an offensive rebound and go back up, drawing the foul for the old fashioned three-point play.
They wouldn’t chant at him much longer.
Johnson would score 17 first half points as Andover (19-2) beat Kapaun Mt. Carmel, 74-62 to advance to Saturdays’ final at Bishop Carroll.
“I don’t really listen to them,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t usually go well for the other team when they start saying stuff.”
Johnson finished with 32 points and anytime Andover needed a bucket, it was Johnson splitting the defense and getting to the rim and drawing a foul. The senior went 17 of 19 at the free throw line.
Andover went 31 of 35 at the line, primarily by driving the basketball and getting inside.
“I knew they couldn’t guard Jack [Johnson,” Andover Head Coach Martin Shetlar said. “We tried to spread them out and cut into the lane.”
This game was supposed to be played last year in the state semifinals but due to COVID, it never appeared. Maybe it was the added fans and student sections or maybe it’s just that Johnson had never lost to Kapaun in his four years, but you could feel the intensity and expectations of this game throughout the gymnasium.
“I honestly was nervous,” Shetlar said. “First game in a while where this game could be close and we could be tested. I’m really proud of how we responded tonight.”
Kapaun came out firing in the second half, scoring the game’s first five points, forcing Andover to press a little bit more.
However, BJ Redic had other plans.
Redic had a mammoth put back dunk and after a miss by Kapaun (15-6) on the other side, it was Redic who was found in his spot, draining a wide open three-pointer to give the Trojans life again.
“BJ [Redic] was outstanding tonight,” Shetlar said. “He stepped up to the challenge on the defensive side and he made some big plays on the offensive side when we needed them.”
Redic finished with 13 points, 10 of them coming in the second half. His ability to get points forced Kapaun to guard Johnson one-on-one.
“I credit Matt Rudy for getting me prepared in practice,” Redic said. “We were so locked in this week, it carried over to the game.”
Isaiah Maikori gave Andover their largest lead of 15 with 5:30 to go in the game and from there on out, it turned into a free throw shooting contest for both teams.
“Andover is a really great team,” Vanek said. “I thought we are a great team, too.
“However, some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue.”
Andover will now turn their attention to top-seed Bishop Carroll. The Golden Eagles earned the tiebreaker due to defensive points allowed per game as both teams were 17-2 when the standings were made.
Carroll beat up on Arkansas City, 64-33 to advance.
“There a really good team,” Shetlar said. “We aren’t going to complain about anything and we are just going to go to work and take care of business.”
Andover, despite winners of 42 of their last 44 games, comes in as the underdog.
“We like the challenge,” Shetlar said.
Carroll has won 16 consecutive games, dating back to a 54-47 loss to Wichita East on Dec. 15.
The winner gets a trip to the Class 5A State tournament. Carroll, whose season ended to an Andover school last year in the finals will be trying to get back. Andover, who never found their ending they wanted and will be chomping to get back.
“It’s just another game where we are coming in the underdog and a chip on our shoulders,” Redic said. “We have another statement to make.”
No. 2 Andover 74, No. 3 Kapaun Mt. Carmel 62
Kapaun (15-6): Johnson 5 (2) 4-8 20, H. Thengvall 1 (0) 9-9 11, Danitschek 1 (1) 6-6 11, Anciaux 4 (0) 1-3 9, Jones 2 (0) 0-0 4, Stuhlsatz 2 (0) 0-0 4, W. Thengvall 1 (0) 0-0 2, Woodward 0 (0) 1-2 1. TOTALS: 16 (3) 21-28 62.
Andover (19-2): Johnson 6 (1) 17-19 32, Redic 1 (3) 2-2 13, Maikori 4 (0) 1-2 9, Beadles 1 (0) 4-4 6, Strausz 1 (0) 3-4 5, Gehring 0 (1) 2-2 5, Gaddis 1 (0) 2-2 4. TOTALS: 14 (5) 31-35 74.