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Girls basketball: Monarch’s Johnson outscores Fairview in win

Monarch's Rebecca Richmond, right, drives past Fairview's Sonia Ghosh during the Coyotes' big victory on Friday night.
MARK LEFFINGWELL
Monarch’s Rebecca Richmond, right, drives past Fairview’s Sonia Ghosh during the Coyotes’ big victory on Friday night.

LOUISVILLE — Two utter oddities — things you rarely see in a basketball game — occurred in Friday night’s Monarch-Fairview girls matchup.

The central theme, however, was one Monarch fans are very familiar with — particularly lately.

The No. 3 Coyotes got another dominant performance from Alexus Johnson to rout the visiting Knights 56-25 in the Class 5A Front Range League game between two of the conference’s top teams.

The senior center’s prowess was not anything out of the ordinary, but something about it definitely was. Johnson scored 29 points (and grabbed 10 rebounds), meaning her scoring total bested the Knights all by itself.

“I definitely didn’t expect to do something like that against Fairview,” Johnson said. “Because they’re a good team.”

The other peculiarity was that Monarch (16-5, 12-2) blanked Fairview in the second quarter, a very uncommon feat in big-school basketball, especially against a team as talented as the Knights (13-7, 8-5).

Coyotes coach Gail Hook labeled it Monarch’s best defensive effort of the season and singled out guard Rebecca Richmond as a chief catalyst. But it was tough to talk D after another marquee all-around performance by Johnson.

“Alexus Johnson can be an incredible player on both ends of the court,” Hook said. “She mixes it up. She can post you up, she has a nice midrange jumper and the 3-point shot has gotten better. And she can out-rebound anyone, I think, in the state.”

Johnson continued to etch her name in the Coyotes’ record book, climbing to 1,154 career points. That is second all-time to Kimberly Dietz (1,327), who played point guard for four years at Kansas State. Johnson, who will play at Grambling State, upped her career rebounding total to 811. That figure is an even 300 ahead of second-place Emily McMahon.

“It’ll sink in when we win that state championship trophy,” Johnson said. “Until then, nothing really matters.”

Monarch defeated Fairview 55-34 last month and discovered the Knights have a top-notch perimeter threat in Sonia Ghosh. The Coyotes essentially said, “We ain’t afraid of no Ghosh,” and locked down on the senior.

Ghosh connected on two 3-pointers to up her season total to 47, but one was in the waning moments. She had been 1-for-5 from distance at that point and finished with eight points.

 

“We knew it would make the game go more in our favor if we could shut her down,” Monarch senior Ashton Davis said. “Last time she came out and scored in double digits against us, and that was our goal, to keep her in single digits.”

Instead, it was another player who was hot from the perimeter: Johnson. Known mostly as a post player, Johnson has been stepping behind the arc lately to add a dimension to her game. She splashed three 3s Friday.

“I’ve practiced my 3 ever since I’ve been here and now I have the freedom to shoot it,” she said.

Fairview coach Rod Beauchamp lamented that Johnson “always seems to have a good game against us” and was still trying to put together the pieces of the Knights’ scoreless second quarter.

“They had great defense, which forced us to hurry our shots and our passes,” he said. “Then when we did get open looks, we couldn’t knock them down.”

 

Monarch 56, Fairview 25

At Monarch HS

FAIRVIEW (13-7, 8-5)

Higgins 1 0-0 2, Hyde 1 0-2 2, Ghosh 2 2-4 8, Ryder 2 0-1 4, Sarah Kaufman 3 0-1 7, Lai 0 0-0 0, Kuosman 0 0-0 0, Yi 0 0-0 0, D’Amico 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 2-8 25.

MONARCH (16-5, 12-2)

Richmond 1 0-0 2, Davis 1 0-0 2, Malcolm-Peck 1 2-2 4, Eisler 2 0-2 4, Johnson 10 6-7 29, Dietz 0 0-0 0, Stimac 1 1-2 4, Rohn 1 2-2 5, Anthony 0 0-0 0, Williams 2 2-3 6. Totals 19 13-18 56.

Score by quarters:

Fairview 9 0 11 5 — 25

Monarch 10 15 18 13 — 56

 

3-point field goals — Fairview (3): Ghosh 2, Kaufman; Monarch (5): Johnson 3, Stimac, Rohn. Total fouls — Fairview 12, Monarch 15. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.

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