St. Paul Johnson surprises Armstrong in 75-56 win

St. Paul Johnson made sure that their first appearance in the state tournament since 1924 would not be a short one as they defeated Robbinsdale Armstrong 75-56 in the quarterfinals of the Minnesota boy's state high school basketball tournament at the Target Center.

The Governors jumped out to a 19-11 first quarter lead and led 33-23 at halftime. 6-2, 310 pound junior Walter Haynes made eight of 14 shots to score 16 points in the first half. He grabbed nine first half rebounds. 5-11 senior guard Terry Couroyea made five of nine shots in the first half to add 13 points.

Armstrong was led by College Basketball News' first team All-State selection Everette Pedescleaux, who had twelve points and seven rebounds in the first half.

The Falcons cut the lead to 46-42 with a DeAnte Ferguson dunk, but Johnson scored seven of the last nine points of the third quarter to build a 53-44 margin going into the final eight minutes.

Johnson expanded the margin to 65-50, but the Falcons rallied with six straight points to get with nine with 1:25 to go. However, Johnson countered with a Couroyea dunk off an alley-oop pass from Haynes and Armstrong would not score again.

Haynes led the Governors with 24 points and 15 rebounds. He made eleven of 19 from the field. Couroyea had 22 points as he made nine of 17 from the field.

Pedescleaux was the lone double figure scorer for Armstrong as he finished with 27 points, twelve rebounds and six blocked shots. He made nine of 15 shots from the field and nine of eleven from the line. Pedescleaux will play football and basketball for the Gophers next season.

St. Paul Johnson will face Chaska tomorrow at the Target Center in the Minnesota boy's state high school basketball tournament semifinals.

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