BATTLE OF I- 35 PART 2
SAN ANTONIO JOHNSON VS AUSTIN WESTLAKE RECAP
Playoff time!!! Round 3 is always a very interesting round where you typically get the stronger teams match up in the bracket. In this one I had a chance over the weekend to lay eyes on who most believe are the Region 4-6A favorites to make it to the State tournament; Austin Westlake. Loaded with a solid senior class to include Kansas signee KJ Adams. They were up against a solid SA Johnson group who features a couple of guards who can score so it had the makings of an intriguing matchup with several college prospects on the floor.
Neither team disappointed as KJ Adams (Kansas) and his team came out firing on all cylinders. The Chaps scored it in multiple ways during the 1st qtr. Adams led the way with 10 and point guard Eain Mowat had 8 to include a couple from deep. As a team they were very efficient getting to their spots and knocking down shots. On the opposite side Johnson came out playing strong as well. Dual sport athlete Shane Johnson showcased his ability to score the ball multiple ways. Shane who signed with Sam Houston St for football can really shoot it. As defenders backed off from him from a couple previous drives to the rim, he then hit a bomb from 30ft to keep the game close although Westlake still led by 9 at the end of 1. The 2nd qtr heated up even more but this time it was Johnson who added more spark with ’22 Kendall Dow and ’21 Mitch Iden getting in on the action. Iden’s damage was done defensively and on the glass with a high motor; Dow was strong off the bounce getting to his spots and scoring to go along with before mentioned Shane Johnson who continued to score as well. Iden helped slow Westlake’s Adams some and that allowed SA Johnson to outscore the Chaps by 8 to make it a 2pt game at the half.
Both teams came out with a solid 3rd qtr; neither wanting to give an inch. Adams was back in attack mode and doing what he typically does affecting the game. Showed a really good feel for getting to his spots off the bounce and hitting mid-range shots over defenders. Johnson’s guards didn’t relax either as both Dow and Shane Johnson kept it close. Dow, doing most of his damage off the dribble making defenders pay.
For Westlake, Blake Nielsen knocked down a couple of deep balls to help keep things balanced. Westlake is a well coached group and they have guys in Nelson, Mowat and Mankle that will hurt you when left alone as was the case in this one. Adams (20pts) despite the extra attention made the right plays and got others involved to include’22 Nehikhare Igiehon who was efficient with his minutes. Strong on the glass and finished at the rim through contact. The Jaguars made it tough and even led for a small period but KJ kept things interesting as he scored it or created opportunities for others to keep Westlake close by showcasing his playmaking ability with the defense focused on him. Eain Mowat (15pts) was also solid for the Chaps.
In the 4th with it still tight ’21 Mitch Iden for SA Johnson continued his solid play; this time hitting 2 deep 3’s to tie the game in the last couple minutes. His motor was on display throughout and his ability to make plays on both ends. His play along with Dow and Johnson gave the Jags a shot. That was until Dow (20pts) with Westlake up 1 got injured driving to the basket. As a result he had to sit one play and they missed a shot and Cade Mankle hit a big 3 to put the Chaps up 4. After another missed attempt Johnson
was forced to foul and Westlake closed the game out at the free throw line. Austin Westlake 75 SA Johnson 66