Gamers of the Week

Ali Johnson of St. Albans High School

Ali Johnson is Gamer of the Week

Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc. & the Putnam Herald are pleased to present this week’s female Gamer of the Week to Senior Ali Johnson of St. Albans High School.

By Marcus Reynolds PT, DPT, CSCS

The Lady Dragons Girl’s basketball team has finally made it to the WV AAA State Basketball Championship Tournament after many close calls in recent years. The Dragons finished the regular season 14-8, but with two sectional games the Dragons won six consecutive straight games. One standout player that has been a co-captain for the Dragons is long distance assassin senior Ali Johnson. Last week during sectional play the senior averaged 11.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds for the Dragons. Johnson did most of her damage from behind the arc shooting 5-11. Johnson and the Dragons avenged two previous losses to rival South Charleston this year, and now are looking ahead to the bigger and brighter lights awaiting them at the State Basketball Tournament in Charleston, West Virginia. 

When asked about what motivates her, Ali responded, “My parents have had a big impact with my athletics throughout my life. Whether I’ve been playing soccer or basketball they have always supported me and been there to push me to get better.” When asked about her improvement in play from her junior compared to her senior year Ali responded, “I believe my ability to play more physical on defense and providing more assists to my teammates is the biggest difference in my game this year. We have some great scorers on this team with Jaden, so it’s my goal to provide them with the easiest opportunities to score.“

The Lady Dragons returned many of last year’s players who made an effort to rally late in the season to make a run at the state tournament. In recent year’s the Dragons were on the doorstep of the state tournament and were denied a bid, but this year the Dragons have placed one foot inside that door. Head Coach Scott James played another difficult schedule to prepare his team for a deep post-season run. The Dragons have been consistently playing some of the top teams in and outside the state. After the Dragons returned from winning the Carolina Classic this season, the Dragons have been a different team and their confidence is growing. After a dominating win on Tuesday night versus Princeton (53-30) in the Regional Championship, the dragons are the seventh seed in the state tournament. When asked about Ali’s play this year Coach James said, “She brings leadership in the locker room and on the floor which in invaluable. As a senior she has grown into a great all around player that has helped to make our team much better.” When asked about his team this year, Coach James said, “Let’s start by saying this is great for our program to get past this hurdle. We told our girls all along we knew we belonged in the state tournament, and now it’s time to go prove it. Every time we break a huddle we say, state champs, and we aim to make it happen.” Coach James and the Dragons are hoping to make a name for themselves in the state tournament and represent the great town they call home. 

Ali currently has a 4.25 GPA and is the daughter of Tonya and Rusty Johnson. Ali also is the goalie for the St. Albans Girl’s Soccer team. Johnson wants to pursue getting a degree in Education in college but is unsure where she will be attending next fall.

Please look for other local high school athletes to be named in next week’s Female Gamer of the Week Sponsored by Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc. & The Putnam Herald.

Marcus Reynolds PT, DPT, CSCS is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the Teays Physical Therapy Center and assists with the Potential Plus Program.