With 11 days between games, Kevin Martin isn't one to rest on his laurels.

With 11 days between games, Kevin Martin isn't one to rest on his laurels.

Despite his Johnstown-Monroe High School boys basketball team riding a four-game winning streak and being perfect through four games in the MBC, Martin is still thinking about how much better his team can get during the layoff.

"We're playing pretty well and when you are playing well, you normally want to keep playing games, but this is a chance for us to get better," said Martin, whose team beat Northridge 63-43 in an MBC game last Tuesday to move to 4-1 overall. "We have a long way to go on both ends of the floor. Plus, we have a few guys who are nicked up and a few days off might help."

The Johnnies play on Jan. 2 in a non-league game at Ridgedale before returning to MBC play on Jan. 8 at home against Loudonville.

"We've been playing every Tuesday and Friday all season and we haven't had a chance to get back to some of the basics," Martin said.
"This will give us a chance to put in some new stuff, both offensively and defensively, and it really gives us a chance to get better."

The Johnnies started slow last Tuesday, trailing 11-1 with 2 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter. But senior point guard Cody Green hit two 3-pointers to jumpstart Johnstown as Northridge led 13-9 entering the second quarter.

"We weren't getting the ball where we needed it to go and Northridge was really taking us out of our offense," Green said. "I think our defense started to play with a little more intensity and that started to help our offense and the transition game."

The Johnnies seized control in the second quarter with a 27-21 lead at halftime and extended their advantage to 45-31 entering the final quarter.

Riley Cannon led the Johnnies with 18 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. Shawn Block scored 16 points and Green finished with 12 points and three steals. Michael Kessler had three assists and Taylor Atwood scored six points.

"(The Vikings) came out and played hard and I don't think we were focused offensively," Martin said. "We put ourselves on our heels and we had too many turnovers. We had 18 (last Tuesday) and we had 18 against East Knox (in a 60-59 overtime win on Dec. 18) after having single digits in the games before that."

Against East Knox, Block led the way with 26 points and Cannon added 14 points. Chad Fuller scored eight points and Matt Smith had six points.
•The wrestling team finished last out of 11 teams with 89 points in the Licking County Invitational on Dec. 19 at Heath behind champion Licking Valley (361).

Scott Robinson repeated as a champion, this time at 160 pounds after winning at 145 a year ago. The senior defeated Cory Hosom of Lakewood in the final.

"Scottie had four pins and won the final by tech fall 32-16 and he really put on a clinic once he got going," coach Ric Block said.
R.D. Williams was third at heavyweight, going 4-1. Brendan Cornwell was sixth at 215 and Hunter Cecil competed at 152, but did not place.

"R.D. wrestled well considering he's on his way down to 215 and may be ready for that this week," said coach Block, whose Johnnies are the host team for the Johnstown Duals on Wednesday. "Cornwell is also on his way down to 189, so both were pretty light for their classes. All of the kids, even Hunter, left it all on the mat and I'm very happy with their effort."

The Johnnies were also dealt a blow when 103-pound freshman Daniel Deeds suffered a knee injury on Dec. 17 in practice. An MRI will determine the extent of the injury.

The Johnnies return to MBC competition Jan. 6, joining Centerburg at Northridge. On Jan. 8, Johnstown competes in the Licking Heights Invitational.