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Farragut's Ashawn Jones gets a shot off over a number of Marshall defenders. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
Trailing by six points against Red-West rival Marshall midway through the third quarter, Farragut head coach William Nelson knew his team needed a spark. He thought that calling a full-court press would do the trick. That helped, but really all Nelson had to do was unleash Ernest Johnson.
The sophomore forward was the key player in a 17-4 run by the Admirals that started at the end of the third quarter and lasted midway through the fourth, helping host Farragut to a 71-64 victory on Wednesday evening. Johnson had five points, two rebounds and two assists during the run, and also ignited his team’s defense playing at the top of their full-court pressure.
“We knew we had to share the ball, and we were just focused on getting the 'W',” said Johnson, who finished with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. “In the first half, I wasn’t aggressive at all. But the coaching staff told me, ‘Get aggressive E.J. and do your thing.’ So that’s what I did.”
Nelson agreed, saying, “Ernest’s first half was sort of lackluster, but in the second half he played a lot tougher. Everybody picked it up a lot to make that big ru
Besides Johnson, Farragut (5-3, 4-0) also received a major contribution in their comeback from big-man Sire Carroll. The junior scored 18 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, but his biggest assistance to his team was likely on the defensive end.
Carroll had four blocks and caused several other attempts by the Commandos to be misdirected due to his length and size, and did a solid job slowing down Marshall’s top scorer, senior Cris Craig. Craig finished the game with 14 points, but all of them came in the first-half, before Farragut made the change to their pressure defense.
Marshall (5-5, 1-3) also received a big game from senior Tyronne Hilson, who had 14 points and nine rebounds.