"They were two-time defending champions of the Philadelphia Capital League," Johnson said, "so I took it as a challenge… They were letting me catch the ball, but I know how to play aggressively. Yesterday, I didn't play that hard."
In the process, the Laurinburg, NC native not only scored more points than on the first night, but he took a more vocal role and looked like more of a leader.
"A lot of the players look up to me," Johnson explained. "Definitely, we look at our point guard, but some players look up to me, and I have to lead them in the right way."
In the second stanza the pace slowed down, but the outcome was never in doubt. The Knights coasted to a 66-42 victory.
Johnson completed a workmanlike half of seven points and four rebounds towards his total of 19 (9-18 FG) and 10 for the game, respectively.
"I think Brian really came to play tonight," head coach Joe Wooten said. "I thought our guards did a great job of recognizing that he was open, and we gave it to him.
"Last night, Brian recognized that he was double-teamed, and he was unselfish to give it up. Tonight, our guards recognized that he had a good match-up, and they went to him a lot."
While his offense gets most of the publicity, his defense was just as important against the Pirates, who shot only 35 (17-48) percent from the field for the game.
"He gives our defense a lot of confidence," Ginyard said. "It's easier for us to pressure up and increase the pressure on the guards, knowing he's back there."
The Knights finished the game shooting almost 53 percent (28-53) from the field compared to 35 percent (17-48) by St. John Neumann, out-rebounded the Pirates 36-28, and forced 16 turnovers to only 12 of their own.
The victory pits O'Connell against Christ the King (NY) in the second semifinal on Sunday night at 8:45 p.m. in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The first semifinal will see St. John's Prep (NJ) take on McQuiad Jesuit (NY) at 7:00 p.m.