CAMDENTON – This was not the same Douglas Johnson that showed up in the district championship.
That one was pure momentum, drilling 3-pointers to beat the buzzer in the first quarter and giving his team an early boost in the fourth. So the 6-foot-2 junior guard came into Wednesday's Class 5 sectional game ready to shoot. And he did, but the shots just wouldn't fall.
The Hickman boys basketball team squeaked out a 53-49 overtime win over Washington, but there was little momentum on either side in the game, a sandpaper-gritty battle that was tied at 41 at the end of regulation. Hickman hadn't scored less than 50 points in the regular season.
Johnson was willing to shoot at the beginning, but he either found the rim or nothing at all. His trigger finger grew less itchy as the game ground on. In all, Johnson hit just one shot from the field during regulation, a floater at the beginning of the third quarter.
He couldn't find anything in the first four quarters, but maybe overtime would be different.
Johnson grabbed an errant Washington pass with 16 seconds left in overtime and the Kewpies leading by one. A few seconds later, he was fouled.
He could bring it a step closer to being a done deal or keep the possibility of an upset terrifyingly real. His bad luck from regulation didn't carry over. He fought past his nerves to make both free throws.
Another foul, and there he was again, with a second left, making his shots to finally put away the defiant Blue Jays.
"I want this too bad to miss those free throws," Johnson said. "I knew I needed to knock them down. I've been working on my free throws. I had a good percentage at the Rock Bridge game (for the district title). I've just been working on my free throws, trying to get them down, because I know that's what it's going to come down to in these type of games."
Practice is one explanation. Hickman coach David Johnson, Douglas Johnson's father, offered another.
"Well, you know, he's got ice in his veins," he said.
The Kewpies will play Kickapoo at 6 p.m. Saturday in Springfield in a state quarterfinal matchup.