SL's 'other Johnson' making his own name

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:25 AM

After all, junior Austin Johnson leads the team in scoring at nearly 20 points per game.

But it was another Johnson of no relation — unsung junior Erik — who provided the Lakers with a boost in Wednesday’s Class B district tournament win over Orchard View.

Sure, the ultra-athletic Austin still got his points — he scored a game-high 21, and also pulled down 15 rebounds.

On Wednesday, he shared the spotlight with his namesake, Erik, a 6-2 forward who poured in a season-high 15 points, including nine in the third quarter alone.

When Orchard View trimmed Spring Lake’s 10-point lead down to five, Erik Johnson responded with a key offensive rebound put-back basket. He also added a three-point play later in the quarter to help the Lakers maintain their lead.

“I got some good passes from my teammates, and I also got some boards, got some putbacks,” Erik Johnson said modestly. “Our mentality coming in was to crash the boards.”

When he wasn’t scoring inside, Johnson showed off a soft touch from the perimeter. He drilled a 3-pointer to give his team a 29-19 lead, and also hit a long jumper in the third that touched nothing but net.

“I don’t take many 3-pointers,” Johnson said with a grin. “Adam (Clauss) set me up on that one.”

Johnson had a big game the first time Spring Lake beat Orchard View back on Dec. 16, scoring eight points, and he added six points in his team’s victory over the Cardinals during their second meeting on Feb. 3.

“I had my best game against them the first time we played, so I had some confidence coming into this game,” Johnson said.

Confidence will go a long ways toward determining how the Lakers do in their next game — a showdown with state-ranked Muskegon Heights in Friday’s district title tilt.

“I’m so excited,” Johnson said. “I haven’t played them in a long time. We played against them way back in AYBT.”

Johnson also provided a few keys to victory for the Lakers.

“We’ve got to come out strong, make our shots, get good looks, be patient and crash those boards,” he said.

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