Los Angeles Preps: Christian Johnson

L.A. North: Five things from the weekend

January, 9, 2012
  1. Crespi’s Christian Johnson came up with some big shots in his team’s 75-73 win over Loyola to open Mission League play last week. Teammate London Perrantes calls Johnson the team’s secret weapon. “He’s a baseball player first, but I definitely think he’s a great shooter for us,” Perrantes said. Johnson scored 14 points against Loyola and came on strong in the fourth quarter. He hit a 3-pointer, his only 3-point attempt of the game, to give Crespi a four-point lead, 71-67, with a little over two minutes to play in the game. He made five free throws in the final period to help his team maintain a slight lead. He finished the game 4-of-5 from the field and had seven rebounds. Perrantes, who scored 17 points to lead Crespi in scoring against Loyola, added that Johnson isn’t going to be the player opposing teams key on. If Johnson gets hot, he can be a dangerous player.
  2. The opening of the Mission League boys basketball season lived up to the hype at the expense of Loyola. Crespi, Alemany and Harvard-Westlake won their first two games of league play. Crespi opened with a tight, two-point win over previously undefeated Loyola. The Celts followed with a 71-50 win over St. Francis. After Alemany won its league opener against Chaminade, the Warriors took care of Loyola, 69-63, to hand the Cubs their second loss in a row. Loyola opened the season by winning its first 11 games. Harvard-Westlake had a good news, bad news type of week. The Wolverines won their first two league games without much struggle, but also lost senior Josh Hearlihy to a knee injury. He isn’t expected back until playoffs. Luckily, sophomore Derrick Newton has filled in nicely by leading the team in scoring with 19.1 points per game. In the meantime, Crespi is home against Alemany on Wednesday night in a game for first place in league, for the time being.

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Crespi hands Loyola its first loss

January, 4, 2012

ENCINO -- Crespi’s London Perrantes came through with one of the biggest shots in his high school career. His little jumper in the paint with 2.9 seconds left was the difference in Crespi’s 75-73 win over Loyola in the Mission League opener at Crespi High School on Wednesday night.

Crespi (14-1) handed Loyola (11-1), winners of 11 games in a row to open the season, its first loss. Perrantes, who came into the game as the leading scorer on Crespi with 14.8 points per game, led four Crespi players in double figures.

Crespi coach Russell White said the plan was to let Perrantes decide the fate of the game.

“Get it in his hands and have him make a play,” White said.

Crespi had to rally on its home court. Down by 10 points in the first half, Crespi battled back to tie the score at 62-62 midway through the fourth quarter.

“We left a lot of plays out there on the floor,” Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “Hopefully it will get our guys' attention. We have some things to work on.”

Christian Johnson came up big for Crespi in the fourth quarter. He scored eight of his 15 points in the final period, draining five clutch free throws and hitting a crucial 3-pointer.

“It’s a game. It has ebbs and flows,” White said. “He made some big plays.”

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LA North: La Canada 43, Crespi 42

March, 10, 2011
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE -- Matt Faber picked perhaps the most opportune time to have one the best games of his high school basketball career.

The senior scored 13 points and added 15 rebounds for host La Canada in Thursday night's Southern California Regional playoff game against Encino Crespi. And ultimately, his efforts proved to be just enough to guide the Spartans to a 43-42 Division III second-round victory over the Celts, who made things interesting from start to finish.

“Normally, I'm the fourth option on this team,'' Faber said. “All that I wanted to do tonight was step up for my team. I knew I needed to pick up the slack in a big game like this. We needed a lift. There was no way I was going to let everyone down.''

With less than five seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Celts (24-9) called a timeout and designed a play for Matt Mournier. The senior guard got the ball too. Unfortunately, his 3-pointer was off the mark as the final buzzer sounded.

“Matt got a pretty good look at the basket, but the shot did not fall, it was a tough way to lose a close game,'' Crespi coach Russell White said.

Faber delivered one of the more memorable highlights for the top-seeded Spartans (29-3), at the most important of times, of course.

He drove along the baseline with 6:02 remaining in the fourth quarter, elevated, and dunked over Chris Connelly to give La Canada a three-point lead.

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