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Underclassman's 3-pointer Leaves Lasting Memory at Rock Port

Sophomore Andrew Johnson doesn't get many minutes on the floor, but he makes his presence felt from the bench.
(ROCK PORT, Mo.) Rock Port delivered a lasting memory knocking off Mound City in the Class 1, District 16 championship game Saturday marking the first time the Blue Jays have ever won back-to-back titles.

"We actually, as a team, did some things that were meaningful," senior forward Chandler Farmer said. "So those are just things that are going to stick around people's minds and the record books for a long time."

The 18-win team led by four seniors has drawn energy from reserve player Andrew Johnson. The sophomore doesn't get many minutes, but is always making his presence felt from the bench.

"He's one of those guys that doesn't care whether he starts, he doesn't care if he gets to play, or how much he gets to play," Rock Port head coach Jim Skillen said. "I'm sure he wants to play. He cares about 'did we win?'"

"It doesn't matter to him, as long as the team is out there winning every night, he's excited," Farmer said.

Andrew was born with autism, and since moving to Rock Port with his parents from Texas, he's been accepted into the Blue Jay family.

"They've taught me a lot this year," Johnson said. "They've taught me how to be a good player on the team."

"He's made a real positive influence, and I also want to commend the other players on the team," Skillen said. "He his fully a part of the team, and nobody was happier for him than the seniors and other guys that have kind of taken him under their wing."

The seniors witnessed one of Johnson's proudest moments in the district semifinal game against West Nodaway. Already holding onto a 23-point lead, Johnson entered the game and forced a turnover on their first defensive possession.

"He played really good defense, and the guy ended up turning the ball over, so we were happy about that," Farmer said.

But the night got better.

With enough time left for one last shot, Johnson came off a double screen, hoisted a high-arcing three-pointer, and watched the shot fly through the hoop.

"As soon as I let the ball go I knew it was going to go in, and everybody else knew it too," Johnson said.

"When it left his hands, everybody jumped up and then it went in," Farmer said. "Everybody was screaming all throughout the gym. It was awesome.

Rock Port senior Jayden McMahon said the sophomore was smiling ear-to-ear after hitting the shot.

"I don't think anybody could be more excited in their entire life than how Andrew was when he hit that shot. His heart was definitely pumping going into that locker room."

It was a special moment for Rock Port, as well as their opponent.

"Everyone from West Nodaway was telling him good shot. That can't help but put a smile on your face," Farmer said. "You just feel so good."

Consecutive district titles puts the Blue Jays in the record books, but one three-pointer along the way will leave a lasting memory in Rock Port.

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