DUNLAP — When it mattered most Tuesday night, the basketball wound up in the right hands for Concord.
Senior point guard Ramon Johnson’s 18-foot jumper from the right wing as time expired lifted the Minutemen to a 44-42 non-conference victory over youthful Elkhart Central at McCuen Gym.
Concord, trailing by as much as eight points, had to battle from behind to win this one and the final play didn’t even go as designed.
“I missed a free throw earlier and Central then tied the game,” said the slender 5-9 Johnson. “I figured I would get another chance. The play we had drawn up didn’t work out so I had to create something. The shot felt good as soon as I let it go.”
The Minutemen won despite just three players scoring — Johnson 24, junior Filip Serwatka 17 and junior Danny McMahon three.
“Ramon took over, just like he did in our win over Mishawaka,” said CHS coach Steve Austin. “The last play was supposed to be a lob to Serwatka, but we messed it up. Ramon is just unflappable.”
Central led much of the way, largely on the strength of eight 3-pointers — four by sophomore Langston Johnson, three by junior Treyton Harris and one by senior Tre Taylor.
“We started a freshman, two sophomores and a junior,” said Blue Blazer coach Troy Noble. “We took a good team to the wire on their home floor and lost on a last-second shot by a great player. I have no complaints.”
Concord, after opening the game in a 2-3 zone defense, found better results with a man-to-man. Central was 0-for-3 from long range in the fourth quarter, scoring just four points.
“We just pressured the ball more, trying to distract their shots,” said Austin. “And, as a young team, I think they got a little tired.”