Boys Basketball: Sacred Heart fueled by Johns in state-tourney win over Miramonte

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior forward Taylor Johns reaches back for one of his five dunks against Miramonte on Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

By Jeremy Balan

For a quarter, the Miramonte boys basketball team appeared to present a challenge for top-seeded Sacred Heart Cathedral in the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation Division III state playoffs on Saturday night.

That’s when Sacred Heart forward Taylor Johns turned the game into his own personal highlight reel.

The standout senior scored a game-high 26 points, with five emphatic dunks, to spark the Irish offense in a runaway 90-57 win over the visiting Matadors.

Sacred Heart Cathedral junior guard Herman Pratt drives past a Miramonte defender on Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

The Sacred Heart scoring total was a season high, and the Irish (26-5) only led 25-24 with 5:13 remaining in the second quarter, before finishing the frame with a 18-2 run. Johns scored 12 points in the second quarter on 6-of-6 shooting from the floor.

“In the first quarter, we came out kinda slow and we knew we had to pick it up,” Johns said. “In the second quarter we made a good run at the end and we took the momentum from there. It was one of those nights.”

Fellow Sacred Heart senior forward Joshua Fox had 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while the sharpshooting duo of guards Herman Pratt and Tyler Petroni scored 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Pratt hit 4-of-6 shoots from 3-point range and Petroni made 4-of-5 shots from distance.

“He shot like that early in the season, then something happened.” Sacred Heart head coach Darrell Barbour said of Petroni. “He either got sick or twisted his ankle. I don’t remember, but he never got back to [shooting well in the regular season]. When he’s making those shots, it puts our offense at a whole different level.”

The health of Fox’s left ankle – which he injured against Mitty in the West Catholic Athletic League championship game and forced him to miss two Central Coast Section playoff games – will be a continuing concern for Sacred Heart, but the Irish have found comfort with him on the court.

The senior’s scoring hasn’t been up to his season average since returning, but he has been the team’s most consistent rebounder and has shown a knack for playmaking, including assists on three of Johns’ dunks against Miramonte (20-10).

“I don’t think he’s going to be completely healthy for the rest of the year, to be honest with you,” Barbour said. “He may be at 75 percent right now, but his 75 for us is much-needed. Seeing him on the floor gives me a level of comfort and I’m sure the players feel that way too.”

Sacred Heart Cathedral senior forward Joshua Fox elevates for a jump shot in the lane against Miramonte on Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

Johns may have stolen the show for three quarters, but when all of the Sacred Heart starters were removed early in the fourth quarter, the biggest cheers from the Irish crowd came when the Irish bench continued to extend the lead.

Led by five points from freshman guard David Parsons, the Irish bench scored 17 points in the final frame.

“I’ve been hard on them at times, because they’ve been in a ton of games where they didn’t play well,” Barbour said. “Tonight was really rewarding to see them go out and play well. I’m happy for those guys, because they’re great kids and they work hard.”

Up next for the Irish is 12th-seeded Center, which upset fifth-seeded Mission in the first round on Wednesday and took down 13th seed Foothill of Palo Cedro in the second round. Some Sacred Heart coaches were at the Mission game and Barbour sent an assistant to film Central’s win on Saturday, but the Cougars still represent a relative unknown.

On thing is certain, though. Barbour does not want the Irish to look ahead to a potential championship showdown against second-seeded Bishop O’Dowd.

“Everybody talked to me tonight about Bishop O’Dowd and I told our kids they’re going to hear that,” Barbour said. “I told them they gotta have blinders on.”

Scoring Summary

Sacred Heart Cathedral
Taylor Johns – 26
Herman Pratt – 16
Tyler Petroni – 15
Joshua Fox – 10
David Parsons – 5

Kiran Shastri – 18
Ross Anderson – 14
Joey Goodreault – 8
Drew Anderson – 7
Matt Lim – 4

Here’s another bonus video from our friend George Nguyen and Yay Area’s Finest

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  1. JJ says:

    I think Miramonte looked out of shape. After every resounding T. johns dunk, their fatigue became more and more of a factor. I saw their players breathing heavily with their hands on their shorts or behind their heads starting in the 2nd quarter. The Miramonte sophomore Joey Goodreault looks like he will be a good player by the time he becomes a senior, although Herman Pratt pretty much contained him.

  2. pf says:

    congratulations sh hope you guys go all the way.

  3. Keep it real says:

    Nice win Shc and Herman Pratt is the truth!!! Love that kids game!!!! And I think T John is A D-1 player
    Made have to set out a year to work on some things but someone have to give this kid a D-1 Ride!!!!

  4. Pablo says:

    Go Irish! Wow 90 points

    • WCAL Alum says:

      Monster game last night for Johns. However, he is a tweener so not sure what offers will come in. But what is wrong with a DII or DIII school. Someone is going to offer him and his parents an opportunity to supplement (ie pay) for his college education so what difference does level have to with it.

      Again a monster game last night.

  5. SF_Mikey says:

    SHC is going to be hard to beat if Petroni and Pratt continue to light it up from outside. Khalil didn’t do much last night offensively but he’s more than capable of nailing 3s given the opportunity. Taylor Johns has been a man on a mission recently – i.e., really stepping it up another notch when Fox went down. Assuming they beat Center next Tuesday they’ll have a great opportunity to avenge last year’s loss to BOD. This years team is a far superior to last year’s edition so I expect a different outcome vs BOD.

    Go Irish!

    • JJ says:

      It kinda helps that BOD’s version of Aaron Gordon transferred to Findlay Prep.

      • jbalan says:

        I could not disagree more with that comparison. Ashley was talented, but was constantly in foul trouble and was nowhere near the dominating factor that Gordon is in high school basketball.

      • AFitzsimon says:

        Also, don’t overlook what Bishop O’Dowd has right now. They still have a lot of athletic length, including Washington State signee Richard Longrus. Besides that, they aren’t getting a bunch of chumps in Center on Tuesday evening either. O’Dowd also plays a very tough Foothill team, so don’t sound so sure.

        • IC Stars says:

          BOD shouldn’t overlook Foothill either. They played Center three times, losing once and having two convincing wins. They also beat Lindhurst by 20, a team that BOD beat by 13, so there could be an upset here.

      • Ari Gold says:

        I get what you’re saying… you aren’t saying he is Aaron Gordon’s caliber but he got a lot of attention like Gordon. Ashley’s skills are very much like Leon Powe at Oakland Tech. 6’7-6’8 PF that doesn’t have a polished offensive game, but scored with strength and length. Gordon absolutely is way more skilled as a ball handler, outside shooter, and has post moves. Ashley did benefit his last year at BOD with a superior starting cast. Gordon also has a very good starting five that complement him.

  6. wcalsf says:

    O’Dowd will have it’s hands full with a very good Foothill-Sac team. They did reload with an outstanding 6’6″ freshman in Rabb, though . Not sure about their guard play…

  7. WCAL Alum says:

    It would not be prudent for SHC to look past Centers and their coach said as much

  8. Keep it real says:

    If your Dream is to play with the best why not go for it!!! Yes if he can’t get the chance to play D-1 than he take the next best thing!!! But if you no the kid he fell like he has the skills to play D-1 So I hope he And fox get their shot!!! I just see him getting better and better!!! Also I seen center play misson very fast team Play together but don’t see them beating SH-

  9. PF says:

    how tall is foxx ?

  10. PF says:

    and johns

  11. Keep it real says:

    6″4 with long arms that make them
    More of the 6″7 kind of players!!!

    • cityfan says:

      I remember Dwayne Fontana of Riordan went to ASU. He was very athletic, long, and had explosive leaping ability, at only 6”4″ (just like Johns). Fontana ended up making the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, and led the league in rebounding 1 year.

      • fan of hoops says:

        fox and johns are 6’6, if you look at the guys when they are called out you will notice they are taller than the listed 6’4..when they were out there w/ domiongo or grosey from serra they were almost eye..they are listed at 6’7

    • City Lights says:

      Until they actually have to guard real 6’7″ “kind of players” that are bigger than them. D1 is no joke. That being said I know they’ll both have opportunities to continue playing at the next level. Hopefully they get free college out of the deal.

      If I were a coach at a school either one of those guys tried to play at or walk on, I would immediately make them attend an intensive guard camp. If they want to play D1 at 6’4″, they will need really good handles and a good outside shot. They would get beasted by D1 bigs the same way they beast on the kids they go against now.

      Good luck to the Irish tomorrow! A state championship would cap off an incredible year for SHCP.

  12. Keep it real says:

    Like I said I new they were good enough to get A D-1 Ride!!! Josh and Taylor might be playing the next 4 year together- Should come-out soon!!! Blessing come when you stay be leaving in your self and hard work!!!

  13. Keep it real says:

    You must haven’t look at them play much!!! They have played all year and summer playing bigger young man!!!! You are right I think they will need a year to work on some things but Fox. Could be a 2 and would be able to take his guy in are out side!!! And Taylor who could be a 3 if he work on his ball handling and shot!!! And buddy they won’t be walking on!!! They have a few D-2 and they look like they have someone at D-1 who think they are the kind of young man they want as basketball players and students!!! And last they are the kind of guys who will put the work in to get better!! They both Love the Game!!! Good luck to them and SHC-Hard work and trusting your coaches make Great Young Men on and off the court!!!And yes they both have great parents!!!!

  14. M Air J says:

    Fontana was a much better offensive player at this stage than Johns is. He had a post up game and could hit the mid range pretty consitently. I compare Johns more to an Erick Newman (also from Riordan) type. Both were stronger than most of their opponents and could dominate based on brute strength alone. For Newman it did translate to the next level, playing at St. Mary’s and leading them to the tournament in 1989. I believe Johns will have a very good college career, he just needs to find the right fit for his style of play.

  15. WCAL Alum says:

    Yes, I agree with the Erik Newman comparison. It’s funny in basketball how coaches and recruiters are enamored by height and potential. That is why despite a sub par year, many schools will continue to look at SD 31. At 6, 6, he has the potential to be a nice pick-up as a two guard if he works hard. I’m dating myself but he has the “Johnny Bravo” mysteria. Who knows what I am talking about?

    Just add 2-3 inches and Taylor Johns/Josh Fox getting the same looks. Funny how that works.

  16. RA says:

    funny how you haters try to short change a guy trying to make it, if taylor is 6 4 then gordon is 6 5 what games have you been watching or smoking, he stood toe to toe with Aaron blocking his shot lots of times this year, this kid runs the floor, runs down players to block shots of the glass very athletic and tough and good size, things you cant teach, with a good coach and hard work on his skills, he could play for any bay area D-1 school for sure Why teams like, USF, CAL, STANFORD,SJS, ST MARYS, keep bringing in out of state crap kills me C U at the STATE finals free scouting lessons

    • WCAL Alum says:

      Who is knocking Taylor Johns? In fact, he has stepped up tremendously since Fox got hurt. People are delusional on what is DI talent. The ESPN generation is so focused on DI, DI, DI without really knowing what a coach is looking for. In all due respect to Mr. Fox and Mr. Johns, Gordon is at another level.

      There are literally hundreds of 6’4″ guys around the country entering college next year in hopes of playing basketball. Yes, both have the temperment, seem extremely coachable and have their strengths and weakness, but would you want them to sit the bench and provide spot play a Pac 10 level team (just for the sake of saying your on a team) or be a major contributors on a mid-level or DII, DIII school?

      The bottom line is both will still be playing basketball at the college level next year and hopefully will get a good chunk of their expenses paid for.

  17. be real says:

    Is the top 10 for the week done for the season?

  18. Big guy 24 says:

    Good luck to the Irish team, make SF proud. Fox and Johns are good kids who will need much work to play D1 ball and be successful. With that said people need to realize how hard it is to be a D1 player, these two 6ft5 kids can do it if they will get in the weight room and gym 6 days a week and 1 day to rest because thats a D1 mentality. Both Fox and Johns bring good things to the table and #1 being good attitudes which smells like success for these two young men. Keep working hard and get good grades and your lives will be all roses from now on. Good luck kids-Go irish…

  19. Ari Gold says:

    Taybang is a beast. He gave Gordon everything he can handle and made him work for everything. He must have learned alot from Kevin Greene when he was a sophmore. Kevin Greene was like a Megatron! I enjoy watching this year’s team but 2009 team was pretty special. 2009 that team really got up and down the court… 2012 is better 3 point shooting team. I think Greene/Brown vs Johns/Fox is pretty even… Cooper was a big polished PG and can back down James but James has alot more quickness. Reyes was very underrated as is Petroni… Cant lose with either pick… and my edge goes to Nate Gartrell 6’4 over Pratt 6’1 at the very smallest edge only because Nate does everything Pratt can do except Nate had just off the charts athleticism, leaping ability, like he was plastic man! Conrad Fox was just an energizer off the bench and played 4 positions… But lastly we cant compare the two unless 2012 brings home a state title.

  20. Keep it real says:

    Sorry but that 09 team was way deeper!! They also Had Ford and Kenny the jet and big Vince ,fox and Anthony!! With josh and zac getting move up that year!!! They were a good group!!! And James Could not hold cooper he was the truth on both ends of the.court!!!!

  21. Eagles boy says:

    My cousin herm doing his thing hope they take it all the way

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