His exploits in the paint last week helped earn Fort Campbell a win over Trigg County on the basketball court.
The 6-foot-3 Johnson grabbed 25 rebounds and scored 26 points – 20 of them after a missed Fort Campbell shot to help the Falcons to a 74-69 win Feb. 18 on post.
With Trigg County’s frontline battling foul trouble most of the night, Johnson was able to control the offensive glass for Fort Campbell, who held a commanding 45-22 advantage on the glass.
“I can’t remember getting outrebounded that bad since I’ve been here,” said Wildcat head coach Bill Chumbler. “We didn’t have anyone who could keep him off the boards.”
It was the fourth time in their last eight games that Trigg County has been outrebounded.
The Wildcats shot 51-percent from the field, but took 20 fewer shots than Fort Campbell because the Falcons were able to grab 55-percent of their missed shots (24 offensive rebounds). Fort Campbell led Trigg in second chance points 29-6.
While Trigg County led by as many as many as ten points in the first half and by seven in the fourth quarter, Fort Campbell staged their comeback in the final frame with Johnson on the bench.
Toron Thomas hit three 3-pointers, and Robbie Townsend added another during a 12-2 Falcon run over a 2:00 stretch that put them ahead 64-61 with 4:32 left.
Nine of Thomas’ 11 points came on those 3-pointers.
Two free throws and a 3-pointer by Jeremy Jones put the Wildcats back ahead 66-64 with 3:23 left. Jones hit five 3-pointers in the game and finished with a season-high 34 points.
Two free throws by Garrett Ebel tied the game at 66 with 3:13 left.
After a missed shot by the Wildcats, Larry Robinson scored on a short jumper to give the Falcons the 68-66 lead.
Johnson put back another missed Falcon shot for a 70-66 lead, but Rodney Davis canned a long 3-pointer to draw Trigg to within 70-69 with 1:33 left.
But the Falcons were just good enough at the free throw line down the stretch, and Trigg missed their final three shot attempts.
“I think we kind of panicked a little. We made some quick fouls instead of working for the turnover,” Chumbler said.
It was a different story early as the Wildcats jumped out to a 21-11 lead despite Johnson’s efforts on the boards.
T.J. O’Hara scored ten points in the opening quarter as the Wildcats led 26-19 after one quarter. But the Wildcat forward picked up his third foul with 4:47 left in the first half.
Later in the quarter, Jamaal Boyd picked up a technical foul and was whistled for a double foul on consecutive trips down the floor that sent him to the bench with four fouls.
“We didn’t have anybody left inside who could bang with Micah and get some missed shots,” Chumbler said. The Wildcat bench was already thin with the absence of senior reserve Stephon Smithers, who underwent surgery last week after suffering a broken nose in practice the previous week. Smithers is hoping to return to play by next week.
O’Hara returned in the third quarter but quickly picked up his fourth foul and later fouled out 19 seconds into the fourth quarter. He scored 12 points and had three rebounds.
Will Anderson picked up most of the slack off the bench for the Wildcats, scoring two points and grabbing three rebounds in a season-high 17 minutes of action.
Davis joined O’Hara and Jones in double figures with 17 points, but missed the first six minutes of the second half because he was sick.
“That was bizarre to have two starters on the bench in foul trouble and another one in the locker room sick. Made me wonder what was going to happen next,” Chumbler said.
While he didn’t get into the scoring column, Devin Tejada may have played one of his better games of the season.
The senior guard tied Jones for the team lead in rebounds with six and took four charges in the game – three from Johnson.
“It takes a lot of guts to step in front of Micah Johnson and take a charge. Devin did it three times. It shows you what kind of player he is,” Chumbler said.
Fort Campbell improved to 12-7 with the win, their third in the last five meetings with the Wildcats.
Trigg County still leads the all-time series 27-20, but has won just twice in 13 games in Falcon Gym, which was built in 1986.