First Ca­reer Field Goal

FARM­ING­TON RE­SERVES SEE TOUR­NA­MENT AC­TION

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS - By Mark Humphrey

FARM­ING­TON — Trin­ity John­son’s eyes got as big as saucers, then she calmly went about her busi­ness like this was old hat as Farm­ing­ton beat Green­brier 76-42.

Her fa­ther, Farm­ing­ton head girls bas­ket­ball coach Brad John­son, was telling her he was sub­bing her in to play the im­por­tant po­si­tion of lead guard dur­ing the 5A West tour­na­ment Mon­day, Feb. 19. Trin­ity, along with sev­eral other fresh­men, had just been pro­moted to var­sity for post­sea­son play.

“Her eyes were about that big when I looked at her and told her I wanted her to go in and play the one spot,” Brad John­son said.

Trin­ity, who wears No. 32 — the jer­sey her dad’s best friend, O.J. Woods, wore in high school at Dar­danelle, ad­mit­ted she was ner­vous, but she never al­lowed that to show.

Trin­ity lit­er­ally is an ex­ten­sion of the coach on the floor and she didn’t dis­ap­point her sweet daddy or her team­mates, who looked to her to bring the ball up. Play­ing with a lot of con­fi­dence Trin­ity wasn’t timid. She didn’t slow down or hes­i­tate when given the ball on a fast-break. With Green­brier de­fend­ers backpedalling Trin­ity put the pedal to the metal play­ing the role of ball dis­trib­u­tor. She passed to Au­drey Culpep­per fill­ing the wing, who drib­bled in for a layup and added a free throw.

“That’s what I was taught to do so when­ever I go in I just try to fol­low (start­ing point-guard) Makenna’s (Van­zant) foot­steps,” Trin­ity John­son said. “

Sec­onds later the Lady Car­di­nals were on the run again. This time Trin­ity took the ball to the hoop. Ab­sorb­ing a foul didn’t phase her. She made the layup and con­verted a 3-point play of her own much to the de­light of Lady Car­di­nal fans.

“It was awe­some,” Trin­ity said of the bas­ket and one that put Farm­ing­ton ahead, 72-35, at the end of the third quar­ter.

That wasn’t all. See­ing more min­utes in the fourth quar­ter, Trin­ity spot­ted sopho­more Tamia Harper ahead of the pack and passed over re­treat­ing Green­brier de­fend­ers en­abling Harper to get her first ca­reer var­sity field goal af­ter re­cov­er­ing from an ACL in­jury over the sum­mer and work­ing through the un­ex­pected death of her mother over La­bor Day week­end.

The John­son’s opened their home and hearts and took Harper in to ful­fill her mother’s ex­pressed wishes so that Harper could con­tinue to at­tend Farm­ing­ton High School and play bas­ket­ball for the Lady Car­di­nals. Like a good sis­ter, Trin­ity John­son got the ball to Harper in per­fect po­si­tion to score and the crowd of Farm­ing­ton fans fa­mil­iar with Harper’s story roared to ex­press their ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the play.

“See­ing my team­mates score is a big thing for me,” Trin­ity said. “I know that was big time for her.”

A third Lady Car­di­nal, Tori Kersey, also got her first var­sity bucket with 23 sec­onds to go.

The big­gest cel­e­bra­tion of the mo­ment was the vic­tory se­cured Farm­ing­ton’s place in the State 5A tour­na­ment last week at Maumelle. The Lady Car­di­nals tipped off 2018 state tour­na­ment ac­tion beat­ing No. 4 south seed DeQueen, 70-59, on Tues­day, Feb. 27.

Farm­ing­ton’s starters and key re­serves set the stage of Trin­ity’s hero­ics by blast­ing Green­brier. The lead was 37 points af­ter three quar­ters as­sur­ing bench play­ers of get­ting in dur­ing the fourth quar­ter.

Van­zant led the Lady Car­di­nals with 24 points. Alexis Roach added 12. The Lady Car­di­nals siz­zled from be­yond the 3-point arc mak­ing eight to­tal. Van­zant had four to off­set seven 3-point­ers by Green­brier in the first half.

Han­nah Don­ham and Nay­lor led Green­brier with 12 points apiece.

FARM­ING­TON 76, GREEN­BRIER 42

Green­brier 13 16 6 7 — 42 Farm­ing­ton 26 24 22 4 — 76 Green­brier (3-24): Ar­den Nay­lor 4 0-0 12, Han­nah Don­ham 5 0-1 12, Breleigh Sim­mons 2 0-0 5, Blysse Har­mon 2 0-2 4, Haleigh Moss 2 2-2 4, Tess Gor­don 1 0-0 3, Kayla Gilpin 1 0-0 2. To­tals 16 2-5 42. Farm­ing­ton (24-5): Makenna Van­zant 7 6-7 24, Alexis Roach 6 0-0 12, Madisyn Pense 4 0-0 9, Au­drey Culpep­per 3 1-1 8, Cam­ryn Jour­na­gan 2 2-2 7, El­iza Ball 2 0-0 5, Joelle Tid­well 1 2-2 4, Trin­ity John­son 1 1-1 3, Tamia Harper 1 0-0 2, Tori Kersey 1 0-2 2. To­tals 28 12-13 76.

3-Point Goals — Green­brier 8 (Nay­lor 4, Don­ham 2, Sim­mons, Gor­don). Farm­ing­ton 8 (Van­zant 4, Ball, Pense, Jour­na­gan, Culpep­per).

MARK HUMPHREY EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

Farm­ing­ton fresh­man Trin­ity John­son, daugh­ter of head girls bas­ket­ball coach Brad John­son, records her first ca­reer field goal at the var­sity level while fin­ish­ing a fast-break dur­ing the Lady Car­di­nals’ 76-42 blowout win over Green­brier on Mon­day,...

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