Austin Johnson does a lot of things very well on the basketball court, not the least of which is shooting free throws.
The Lakers’ burly 6-foot-2 senior forward swished an astounding 17-of-18 foul shots on Tuesday, scoring 29 points to help carry his team to an impressive 51-40 win over a quality Shelby team.
Johnson is now 52-of-58 from the line this season — in just five games.
“Out defense and Austin’s ability to get to the line were the difference,” said Lakers’ coach Bill Core, whose team improves to 4-1 heading into Friday’s rivalry showdown against Grand Haven. “It’s a huge weapon to have a guy who shoots free throws that well.”
Johnson wasn’t the only Laker to scorch the nets from the free throw line. As a team, Spring Lake was 29-of-34 (85 percent). Erik Johnson and Nick Goeglein were each 4-for-4.
When they weren’t making free throws, the Lakers were coming up with big defensive stands against a very patient, deliberate Shelby squad that was coming off a huge win over Montague last week. In that game, the Tigers scored 73 points. On Tuesday, they managed just 40, including a few easy baskets in the closing minutes with the game out of reach.
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