PREP BASKETBALL NOTES: Star’s Jan Johnson ponders retirement
Star’s Johnson ponders retirement
Jan Johnson has been involved with Star Spencer’s girls basketball program, either as an assistant or head coach, for 33 years. Her 20th season as head coach might be her last.
Johnson led Star Spencer to the Class 4A state championship last year and a 28-1 record. She’ll lead the team again this season while considering her future and grooming an assistant to be in position to take over the storied program.
"A lot of people have asked me why I didn’t retire after last season and go out on top,” said Johnson with a laugh. "I thought about it, but I didn’t want to leave without being sure everything was taken care of and (the program) would be able to continue to be successful.”
Johnson led Star to the 1991 title and was an assistant when Star won the crown in 1985.
NORTHEAST COULD SURPRISE
Despite several players transferring last summer, Northeast boys basketball coach MalcolmRoberts is excited about his team.
"This could be my best team since a couple years ago,” Roberts said.
The Vikings are led by one of the quickest point guards in the state, JordanManuel. The senior averaged nine points and six assists as a junior. Roberts said to keep an eye on CayereoonJones. The freshman is expected to play significant minutes.
HALL’S STEVENS OUT FOR SEASON
A year ago, Heritage Hall had to play most of the season without standout Krista Stevens. This year the Chargers will have to play the entire season without the talented guard.
Stevens suffered a major knee injury in a scrimmage last Monday and will require surgery and six to 10 months of rehabilitation. The senior tore the anterior cruciate ligament and broke her meniscus.
"It’s just a shame for her because of what could have been,” said Heritage Hall coach Cindy Bales. "She’s such a good player, and she was playing so well before it happened. She had hit five straight three-pointers in the scrimmage before she went down.”
Stevens, the sister of Oklahoma kicker Jimmy Stevens, played in less than 10 games last season because of a different knee injury. She averaged 16.2 points and 3.5 steals per game as a sophomore.
RACER INKS WITH OCU
Newcastle’s Lauren Gober, an Oklahoman pre-season Class 4A All-Stater, has signed with Oklahoma City University. The 6-foot-1 senior averaged 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds last season for the 21-6 Racers.
TITANS ARE BATTLE TESTED
Carl Albert features a deep boys basketball team, led by standout HarrisonDuPont, a Citadel signee.
Titans coach JayPrice said he expects to play as many at 10 players this season. And they’ll need that type of depth with a schedule, which includes several tough tests.
The Midwest City school hosts the Carl Albert Tournament in January, which features Tulsa Union, Del City, Midwest City, Guthrie, Millwood and Tulsa Washington.
"I want to get better,” said Price, whose team will also play defending champion Guthrie twice. "I don’t care what our record looks like at the end of the season as long as we’ve been getting better.”
BY BRANDON CHATMON AND JUSTIN HARPER