The Jefferson Falcons boys’ basketball team came into Madison with sudden momentum after winning their prior two games on the road. J-Town would continue their winning ways in the Monday showdown with a commanding 55-35 win over an impressive Dodgers squad.
Mattie Johnson was the high scorer yet again for the Falcons as the senior put up a 31 point game recording back-to-back thirty point performances for Jefferson. “He’s the man and he’s got to play,” Coach Digennaro said postgame. “Your dudes have to be dudes and he was one today.”
It didn’t take long for the Falcons to continue where they left off over the last two games. The Falcons’ offense was quickly jump started. Johnson was the key early in the game for J-Town as the two-sport star rallied 12 in the first eight minutes to lead Jefferson to a 21-11 lead after the first.
The second quarter was much of the same story. Johnson continued to shoot the ball well, but also step up defensively. Alongside big man Sean Whalen, the two racked up, blocked, and protected the paint from the Dodgers, leading to a strong 15-point advantage for the Falcons heading into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Madison began to fight. The Dodgers gained momentum and seemed to have finally found a way to stop Johnson and the good ball movement of Jefferson. Madison won the quarter by three, trimming the Falcons lead to 45-32.
J-Town took the next step defensively in the fourth as Johnson, Whalen, and senior guard Buddy Jacobus all stepped up, forcing turnovers down the stretch and holding off the Madison Dodgers to capture a 55-35 win and their third straight road win. “They are getting comfortable in our system which has given them more confidence defensively,” Digennaro said.
The clear player of this game was Mattie Johnson who, since coming off his ankle injury, had recovered with back-to-back thirty point games. “It was rough being out but I needed to show I could play the way I did last year, and I was able to the last few games,” Johnson said.
Although Johnson filled up the box score, senior Sean Whalen dominated the boards and was a fierce rim protector for Jefferson, which was vital in their win. Also, senior Buddy Jacobus stepped up in a big way as a true point guard against the Dodgers, as he was key to their quick scores and stellar ball movement.
The Falcons come back home with a winning record after their 3-1 road trip. “The first games were a wake-up call and we knew we needed to win these few games and we did,” Johnson said. Jefferson will take on the Wallkill Valley Rangers Wednesday night at 7 p.m. back at The Nest.