The Johnson Central Golden Eagles played their last home game of the season Wednesday night as they welcomed the Challengers of the Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Va.
Mountain Mission is a Christian school primarily for youths who come from difficult situations at their original homes. They have students from over 60 different countries and municipalities. The Golden Eagles took command early, but had to fight off a valiant effort to pick up a 58-51 win in their final appearance at Paul R. Setser Fieldhouse for this season.
Johnson Central’s Gabe Ferrell started the scoring for the Golden Eagles as he opened the game with a three pointer just 20 seconds in. Isaiah May added a bucket exactly one minute later, followed by baskets from Cory Vanhoose and Braxton Bentley to spark a 9-0 run right out of the gate.
The run ended when Mountain Mission’s Papas Mbiya scored underneath to cut the lead to 9-2 with 4:47 to play in the opening quarter. Youssef Abdrabou scored on a jumper with 3:30 to play and the Challengers started to dig themselves out the whole they had dug. Johnson Central would hold a 1-5 lead after one period of play.
Mountain Mission continued chipping away in the second quarter. Albert Wilson III and Papas each scored four points despite the Golden Eagles’ Ferrell nailing back-to-back three-pointers and Johnson Central’s lead began to shrink even more. Abdrabou was fouled on his drive to the basket and converted his three-point play try with 26.2 seconds left before the break.
Going into the locker room, the game was tied 24-24.
Abdrabou was fouled on three consecutive trips down the floor. He went one for two his first two trips and making both free throws his third time at the line. That gave the Challengers their first lead of the ballgame.
At the end of three periods of play, the Golden Eagles held a two point advantage 35-33. Mountain Mission made one last effort in the fourth quarter, however, Ferrell hit three straight three pointers for the Golden Eagles late in the game putting any chance they had out of reach.
The three three pointers Ferrell hit in the fourth quarter alone were three of his six on the night. Vanhoose sealed the deal for the Eagles as he was fouled driving to the basket with 14.6 seconds to play, as they went on for the 58-51 home win.
Johnson Central was led in scoring by Cory Vanhoose with 18 points and seven rebounds. He was followed by Ferrell also with 18 points and two steals. He also made six three pointers on the night. Isaiah May chipped in nine points and six rebounds.
Mountain Mission was led by Youssef Abdrabou with 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Wilson III chipped in 12 points and six rebounds. Mbiya added eight points and four assists.
Johnson Central (22-6) is scheduled to take on Magoffin County at 7:00 Wednesday night in the opening round of the 57th District Tournament.