Jana Johns sparks Calhoun girls' rally past WACO

Jana Johns sparks Calhoun girls' rally past WACO

February 24th, 2015 by Lindsey Young in Sports - Preps

Washington County's Daknequa White (23), top right, reaches in as Calhoun's Jana Johns (21) attempts to get control of a loose ball early in a 51-45 Lady Jackets overtime win Monday at Calhoun. Washington County's Daavaneck Brookins (12) looses her footing, below, and Calhoun's Kyleigh Carrey (12), top, moves in to help. It was the second round of the Georgia state basketball tournament.

Washington County's Daknequa White (23), top right, reaches...

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

CALHOUN, Ga. -- Say this for Jana Johns: She pays attention.

Trailing visiting Washington County by six points at halftime after scoring only 13, the Calhoun girls' basketball players got one simple request from coach Jerry Pruett: Make some shots.

Johns, the team's sophomore spark plug guard, did just that, scoring 24 of her game-high 28 points in the second half to lead the Lady Yellow Jackets to a 51-45 overtime win in the second round of the GHSA Class AAA playoffs.

"We felt good about the way we were playing, but we just had to make some baskets," said Pruett, whose team will host East Hall at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinal round. "We were 5-for-29 from the field and 2-for-7 from the free-throw line (in the first half), but we were playing good defense and moving the ball well."

Johns scored eight points in a 10-0 run to open the third quarter as Calhoun stormed ahead, 23-19. After scoring 10 in that period, she scored the Lady Jackets' first six points of the final quarter, but the Golden Hawks wouldn't go away, taking a 36-34 lead on Dakneeva White's 3-pointer with 4:34 to play.

White struck again later, hitting a 3-pointer from the corner with seven seconds to play to send the game into overtime. It would be the final points the visitors would score as Calhoun put the clamps down in the extra session. Sydnie Parker started the period with a 3-pointer, and after getting the ball back, the Lady Jackets played keepaway, with Johns ending up at the free-throw line and hitting two for a five-point lead.

WACO missed two 3-pointers and had two turnovers in the final two minutes as Calhoun (25-4) sealed the dramatic win.

"We just had to keep doing what we were doing in the first half except score more," summed up Johns, who also had four steals. "We never felt like we were going to lose; we just had to warm up."

Parker added 11 rebounds and five blocked shots for Calhoun, while White led WACO with 17 points.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6296.