The growing process continues for the Johnstown-Monroe High School girls basketball team.

The growing process continues for the Johnstown-Monroe High School girls basketball team.

With only a game Thursday, Dec. 29, at Linden-McKinley over the holiday break, the Johnnies plan to spend time focusing on fundamentals in preparation for the remainder of the season.

The Johnnies played in the Mount Vernon Colonial Classic the past two holiday breaks.

"We're staying at home to work on some things," said coach Carl Dufford, whose team was 3-4 overall before playing Big Walnut on Dec. 22. "We need to work on handling pressure and being patient with the ball. We came into the season inexperienced, but we have kept improving."

The Johnnies fell to 2-3 in the LCL-Cardinal Division after losing to Utica 52-33 on Dec. 20.

The Redskins literally were a tall order for Johnstown, with a pair of 6-foot-1 post players in senior Lindsay Burnett and freshman Emily Londot.

Londot, who was second-team all-state in Division III girls volleyball and already has committed to play at Ohio State, had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Burnett scored only two points but was a force in the paint.

"(The Redskins) are definitely a good team and their 1-2-1 zone (defense) gave us some problems," Dufford said. "That was something that I hadn't seen them do before. We tried to make some adjustments, but sometimes we were rushing our shots."

Sammy Edwards is Johns-town's tallest player at 6-1. The senior accepted her challenge against Utica, finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds.

"We knew they were good and would be ready to play after just losing to Newark Catholic (52-38 on Dec. 16)," Edwards said. "We knew we had to come ready to play, and we did that."

The Johnnies led 8-7 after one quarter, but they were limited to two points in the second and Utica led 22-10 at halftime.

"We had too many turn-overs," said Dufford, whose team committed 21 compared to nine by the Redskins. "We had four crucial turnovers on consecutive possessions that really allowed them to jump out.

"Plus, it's tough playing against their pressure. I think we put the ball on the floor too much. Then we would try to throw over Londot and it was like she was playing volleyball out there."

Edwards had 14 points and eight rebounds as the Johnnies defeated Heath 50-38 on Dec. 16. Ashley Abner added 11 points.

Matoszkia leading boys basketball team

Senior Kyle Matoszkia has been leading the boys basketball team in almost every way possible.

The 6-foot-6 forward was leading the Johnnies in scoring (13.0 points), rebounds (11.8), assists (2.8) and blocks (1.3) through four games.

Carson Carter was averaging 10.8 points and 3.8 rebounds, and Owen Hazelbaker was averaging 8.8 points and 5.8 rebounds.

Johnstown improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the LCL-Cardinal by defeating Granville 38-34 on Dec. 21.

The Johnnies will be tested this week in the Bobcat Holiday Classic. They play Wellington on Tuesday, Dec. 27, and then face host Grandview or Centerburg on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The tournament features a strong field. While the Johnnies won a Division II district title last season, Wellington reached a Division IV state semifinal and improved to 4-2 this year by defeating Ready 51-48 on Dec. 20.

Grandview defeated Centerburg 43-40 in a Division III district final last season. Centerburg was 4-1 before playing Marion Elgin on Dec. 22, and Grandview is 5-1.

The Johnnies won their league opener Dec. 17, defeating Lakewood 70-56 as Matoszkia had 18 points, 17 rebounds and six assists. Hazelbaker had 16 points and five rebounds, Carter scored 10 points and Jeremy Neff had nine points on three 3-pointers.

Bowlers top last season's win total

The boys bowling team won as many matches Dec. 17 as it did all of last year in its inaugural season.

The Johnnies improved to 3-1 overall and in the LCL by defeating Lakewood (1,944-1,830) and Utica (1,944-1,818) at Park Lanes. They finished 2-13 last season.

C.J. Hiles was medalist Dec. 17, rolling games of 221 and 191 for a 412 series. Vince Green had a 385 series with a 211 high game, and Gunnar Maynard had a 333 series.

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