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Freshman rises to occasion against Jets

Carl Albert’s Austin Johnson dribbles past a Western Heights defender Friday night during a district basketball game. Photo by Jeff Harrison

Price earns 500th career coaching victory

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

OKLAHOMA CITY – As a freshman, Austin Johnson hasn’t seen a lot of playing time on the Carl Albert varsity squad this season.
On Friday night, he did. And made the most of it.

Johnson scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Titans (9-3, 4-2 District 5A-1) past Western Heights 95-36 in a district contest.

“I don’t get a whole lot of playing time so when I’m in I try and do the best I can,” he said. “And scoring 20 points felt pretty good.”

Johnson put up 11 points in the fourth quarter which got the Titans’ bench cheering.

“They give me a hard time a lot, but they also help me,” Johnson said. “It’s good having that leadership and cheering me on.”

Coach Jay Price was pleased to get several young players on the floor against the Jets (1-9, 0-5), including Johnson.

“That’s why want to bring him along,” Price said about Johnson’s big game. “He can really score it and shoot it and play at the varsity level and we’re just getting him in the right direction.”

Johnson was one of five players in double figures scoring for the Titans. Steven Anderson finished with 17 points. Marcus James and Ryan Reynolds both scored 15 points. Reynolds hit four 3-pointers and scored a four-point play when he was fouled on a made trey. Quincy Hopkins finished with 12.

Nine players scored in the win.

The Titans took control early, hitting five 3-pointers in the first quarter for a 31-6 lead. They went up 53-15 at halftime.

They continued to roll in the second half for the 95-36 win.

Carl Albert has won six in a row following a 3-3 start to the season. They also picked up a win against Shawnee 58-33 earlier in the week. The Titans were led by Anderson with 15 points. Quincy

Hopkins scored 14 and his younger brother Jayden Hopkins had 11.

The win was Price’s 500th career victory.

“It’s a neat milestone and makes me reflect on the coaches I’ve coached with and the players I’ve had,” Price said. “We’ve had some great success at Carl Albert, and it was nice that they recognized that.”

Price is in his 29th year as a head coach including the past 21 at Carl Albert. He started his career at Choctaw where he was an assistant for three years and head coach for eight.

The Titans will begin the Moore Tournament on Thursday against Ardmore.

Carl Albert boys basketball coach Jay Price earned his 500th career coaching victory Jan. 9 with a win at Shawnee. Photo by Jeff Harrison


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