Irish own the North

HOLLY SPRINGS — What once seemed as a rebuilding year for the St. Joseph Catholic School boys basketball team has turned into one of the best seasons in school history.

Behind the 40 points from the supremely talented Dillon Johnson, the Fighting Irish won their first ever MAIS North State Championship by defeating Manchester 63-54 on Saturday.

“This is the most fun group of kids I have ever been around,” St. Joseph coach James Hunter said. “This is a really gritty team and they are going to battle all of their opponents to the end.”

While Johnson was his usual high-scoring self, it was the great play of Trey Benson that, perhaps, meant even more to Saturday’s victory.

Benson not only finished with 13 points, but also came up with one huge rebounder after another.

“Trey had the best game he has had all season,” Hunter said. “He worked his tail off getting rebounds for us.”

St. Joe’s C.J. Moore contributed seven points.

The Irish’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday against Newtown Academy in the state tournament. Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. The tournament is at Benton Academy. “We have a chance, but we have to take it one game at a time,” Hunter said,