YAZOO CITY — After St. Joseph Catholic School star junior Dillon Johnson got in foul trouble at the start of the fourth quarter, things were not looking good for the Fighting Irish boys basketball team Thursday night in the semifinals of their Distric 2AA t tournament against Greenville Christian School.
But Johnson’s little brother, C.J., was not going to let the Fighting Irish be denied as he helped lead St. Joe’s to a 58-34 victory.
“He took the game over for us,” Fighting Irish coach James Hunter said.
After falling to Greenville Christian twice in the regular season, the Fighting Irish victory was sweet revenge for a St. Joe team that has gotten better and better as the season has wore on.
Junior Trey Benson led St. Joseph with 18 points. Dillon Johnson scored 17 points, and Herman Moore scored eight points.
The Fighting Irish are set to meet Manchester Academy Saturday night in the championship game. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:45. A victory on Saturday will be the thrid straight for Coach Hunter’s Fighting Irish program.
St. Joseph split its two games against Manchester earlier this season. The Irish defeated Manchester at home 50-46 on January 8, but fell to Manchester 59-56 on January 24.
According to the St. Joe head coach, the big difference from his team has been on the defensive end.
“We are playing better on defense than we have all season,” Hunter said. “We got some good steals and we really stepped it up.”
Another positive sign from St. Joe was how so many of the Fighting irish players contributed in the victory. Dillon Johnson has been a scoring machine for the Fighting irish in many games this season. Johnson broke a school record earlier this season with a 54-point game.
But on Thursday Dillon Johnson was just another great wheel in the cog of a strong team.
“This was a total team victory,” Hunter said.