Nick Johnson Gets The Start, Starts Cats Off Right
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
It was a big night for Wildcat fans after Edmonson County's 71-66 win over the Caverna Colonels, but for none bigger than EC's manager/fan/player extraordinaire, senior Nick Johnson. Nick, arguably the biggest Wildcat fan in school history, started tonight in place of Chaz Wilson.
Nick, a basketball team manager and former football manager, suffered a stroke while in the womb. Doctors said he'd never walk nor talk. His mother, Elysia, said she and her husband Mickey, weren't satisfied with that diagnosis so they got a second opinion. Another group of doctors said otherwise and Nick began physical and speech therapy at around 8 months of age.
Nick's right side is weakened somewhat and he has occasional trouble lifting certain objects with his right hand, but that didn't seem to cause him any problems tonight as he attempted a shot on the Wildcats' first possession of the game. Fans went crazy when Johnson fired a three-pointer on the right side and buried it for his first career varsity points.
That was actually the bright spot for the Cats for a while as the Colonels (1-20 on the season) took a 31-29 lead at the break. That lead grew to 8 in the third quarter but the comeback Cats chipped away and took the 59-57 lead with under three minutes to go and Caverna would never tie or take the lead from there on.
While the game was a win, Coach Mike McClintic discussed what he liked and didn't like; however, he said he was just as proud as how the community, fans, and schools responded, as he was the win.
"Nick's one of my top assistant coaches," Coach Mac said with a smile. "If you don't believe me, just ask him. But this whole community, this whole school has always been great. I've been in a lot of schools and this place has just always been awesome with the way people are. I'm sure there are some doubters of me, which that's just part of coaching, and the coaching job. But you guys, the enthusiasm, the crowd, the kids, and my team--I can't say enough about my team. I wish I could play all of them, but in the game of basketball, in a varsity game, you can't do it a lot of times. But I want to thank the fans, everyone that watches you guys, listens to you guys, it means a lot to us. It does.
Johnson finished with three points. Leading the Cats was Chaz Wilson, who was big down the stretch; hitting 14 of 16 free throws on the night. He finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Dalton Decker had 9 points, Eli Booker finished with 8, Nick Clemmons had 7, Griffin Spainhoward had 6, Jon Smith had 6, Daniel Woosley had 4, and both Mason Pierce and Trent Taylor finished with 2 each.
The team also shot 25/30 from the stripe (83%).
The team improved to 11-12 on the season and is scheduled to take on a very tough Allen County-Scottsville team Tuesday night at home in a JV/V match beginning at 6pm with JV action. You can listen to the audio live on the Edmonson Voice.