1-6 jc Cory VanHoose 2.jpg

Johnson Central’s Cory VanHoose goes up for a layup against Raceland Monday night in the season opener. VanHoose scored to 33 points to lead the Golden Eagles to a 72-56 win over Raceland.

On Monday, Johnson Central kicked off its season with a home matchup against the Raceland.

In the opener, Johnson Central picked up a 72-56 win over the Rams.

The Golden Eagles raced out to a 21-10 lead on the Rams with the help of Cory VanHoose, who ended the game with 33 points.

VanHoose opened the game on fire from behind the arc hitting his first two threes on his way to scoring nine of Johnson Central’s first 12 points.

After gaining the big first quarter lead, the Golden Eagles never looked back on their way to the 72-56 win over the Rams.

A big part of the win for the Golden Eagles was the team defense that was played throughout the game.

Johnson Central’s press was staggering and caused the Rams all sorts of issues throughout the contest, forcing 20 turnovers by the end of the game.

The Golden Eagles capitalized, scoring 19 points off turnovers.

However, in the second quarter it looked like Raceland could have made a push as the Rams matched the scoring of the Golden Eagles with 13 for the quarter, while keeping the Johnson Central lead at 11 going into the half.

The Golden Eagles came out in the third quarter of play determined to extend their lead outscoring the Rams 18-12 by quarters end.

This made the score 52-35 in favor of Johnson Central and sealed the momentum for the Golden Eagles.

In the fourth quarter, Raceland managed to outscore the Golden Eagles 21-20 however, the effort was too little and too late.

VanHoose, the game’s leading scorer, was also the game’s leader in steals with five.

However, his supporting cast played a major role in the success of the Golden Eagles.

The Johnson Central bench dropped 22 points in the game.

If the Golden Eagles continue to have this kind of production from its bench unit, it’s not crazy to think they could be right back into the region title picture like so many years past.

If that’s not enough to support that stance, let’s take a look at field goal percentage.

The Golden Eagles total field goal percentage was 51 percent from two, leading to 42 points in the paint.

This was a product to Johnson Central spacing the floor well and taking and making enough three’s to keep the lane clear for cutters and open drives to the rim.

From behind the arc the Golden Eagles shot 31 percent, which isn’t bad but, just enough to keep an opposing team honest.

A catalyst for creating a lot of open looks for Johnson Central was Grant Rice who led all players in assists with eight.

An all important factor and key role player for the golden Eagles was John King.

King ended the game with seven points, shooting 75 percent from the field, and also led the Golden Eagles with three blocks.

Ryleh McKenzie also stepped up for Johnson Central, scoring 11 points and hauling in seven rebounds.

Of course, Isaiah May is typically one of the top scorers for the team.

However, with May’s teammates playing so well he wasn’t asked to do much, but still managed to do a little of everything.

May dropped in 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists as he stayed a threat throughout the game.

The Golden Eagles look to take on Boyd County in their second game of the season on Thursday, January 7 as they prepare to continue their success from their first game of the season.

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