Justin Johannessen is working through a shooting drought.
The 6-foot-3 senior forward usually is one of the top perimeter shooters for the Grandview Heights High School boys basketball team but recently he has been looking to improve other areas of his game until his touch returns.
Johannessen was averaging 8.4 points with 24 3-pointers through 14 games, but the majority of his production came during the Bobcats' 7-0 start. He averaged 10.4 points with 17 3s in the first seven games and 6.4 points with seven 3s in the next seven.
"It can be frustrating, but shooters have to keep shooting," said Johannessen, who broke out a bit with 14 points and two 3s in a 62-29 win at Washington Court House on Jan. 27. "You have to shoot your way out of it or find other ways to help the team, whether it's driving to the bucket, taking shorter shots or just playing tough defense. You have to wait for it to come to you. You can't force it.
"I have been doing things on defense and working my way back into things on the offensive end. If I'm not shooting well, I can still play hard defense."
Coach Ray Corbett said the slump on the offensive end has helped to make Johannessen a more complete player.
The Bobcats snapped a three-game losing streak with a 56-53 win over Waterford on Jan. 15 in the Route 40 Classic at Zanesville West Muskingum. Johannessen scored 11 points with two 3s, and two baskets came off rebounds in the paint. That's what most impressed Corbett.
"I think the guys have seen Justin going in and doing more for us and how it makes a big difference," said Corbett, whose team was 12-3 overall before playing Gahanna Christian on Jan. 29 and is 5-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division. "He had two putbacks against Waterford, and two putbacks is huge for Justin. That's not something he normally gets.
"I think if you look at how the season started, Justin came out as just being a shooter, but as time has gone on that's changed. Going back the last couple of weeks, we have seen him rebounding more than in the past and getting in there and mixing it up."
Johannessen has played on varsity since his sophomore year. He averaged 6.6 points last year and started for half the season but came off the bench after an ankle injury sidelined him for a few games.
"There has been a tremendous change since I was a sophomore," he said. "I remember when I would go on fast breaks and was afraid to take a layup. I feel like I wasn't as good of a shooter as I am now, but I have put in a lot of work over the summers shooting and with ball-handling, and I feel like I'm so much better."
Corbett agreed on Johannessen's improvement in all areas of play, especially on defense.
"We have used him a number of times to guard our opponent's best perimeter kid and his length and his ability has been huge for us," Corbett said. "When he does a little bit of everything, that makes us a whole lot better."
Furbee helps lead boys swimmers at MSL meet
Calvin Furbee won two individual events as the boys swimming and diving team finished second in the 11-team MSL meet Jan. 27 at Columbus Academy.
Furbee was first in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 46.54 seconds) and 100 butterfly (53.19), and he was on the champion 200 free relay (1:35.96) with Andrew Bergmann, Charlie Ferguson and Bo Hawkins.
Furbee also joined Ferguson, Bergmann and Patrick Rowland on the runner-up 400 free relay (3:38.58).
Ferguson was third in the 200 individual medley (2:08.29) and fourth in the 100 fly (55.82). Bergmann was fifth in the 100 free (55.32) and sixth in the 200 free (2:03.05), and Hawkins was sixth in the 100 free (56.93).
The Bobcats scored 187 points to finish behind Academy (334).
The girls finished third (181) of 14 teams behind Academy (342) and Bexley (220).
Keelin O'Connor won the 200 IM (2:21.92) and was fifth in the 500 free (5:42.22), and Annie Volker was runner-up in the 100 backstroke (1:04.01) and fourth in the 200 free (2:06.91). Adelle Bechtel was third in the 50 free (27.32), Martina Moncolova placed fourth in the 100 fly (1:06.51) and Nina Burchfield was sixth in the 100 fly (1:08.93).
Volker, Bechtel, O'Connor and Moncolova were on the runner-up 400 free relay (4:02.93) and the third-place 200 free relay (1:47.08). Burchfield, Grace Rubin, Moncolova and Katherine Taylor comprised the fourth-place 200 medley relay (2:08.37).
Wrestling team preps for MSL-Ohio tourney
The wrestling team competes in the MSL-Ohio tournament Saturday, Feb. 3, at Whitehall.
The Bobcats finished fifth (79.5) last season behind champion Bexley (196) as Hudson Jump (195 pounds) won his second league championship and was named Most Valuable Wrestler.
In the Sally George Invitational on Jan. 26 and 27 at Marion Pleasant, the Bobcats finished 12th (72.5) of 23 teams behind champion Marysville (223).
Jump won at 195 and Derek Tullis was sixth at 120.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview Heights boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 3 -- Home vs. Whitehall. The Bobcats lost to the Rams 49-33 on Jan. 3.
Feb. 5 -- Home vs. Horizon Science
*Feb. 2 -- Home vs. Columbus Academy. The Bobcats defeated the Vikings 52-23 on Dec. 6.
Feb. 6 -- At Buckeye Valley
Feb. 3 -- MSL tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Feb. 6 -- Reynoldsburg at Sawmill Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 3 -- Upper Arlington Invitational
Feb. 3 -- MSL-Ohio tournament at Whitehall