You know you've reached the big time when: (A) Sports Illustrated projects you as a College All-America for the 1995 season, and (B) your future college coach comes all the way from Tennessee to watch you play your high school league championship game.
Welcome to the big time, Dana Johnson.
Johnson will lead Western into the March 3 Metro Classic at the Baltimore Arena against the Catholic League champion. Seton Keough holds a one-game lead on Spalding entering tomorrow's showdown. If Spalding wins, the race will be tied and a playoff will determine who advances to the Metro Classic.
Western got 25 points from Johnson, The Evening Sun 1990 Player of the Year, to defeat Walbrook, 68-49, and earn its second straight City-Wide championship. Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who signed Johnson before the season, made the trip to get another first-hand look.
The Feb. 18 issue of Sports Illustrated lists the 6-foot-3 center, who averages 23 points and 20 rebounds, among the top five high school seniors in the nation.
"I think this puts Dana a step above everyone else who has played for me," said Doves coach Breezy Bishop.
Said Johnson: "I don't know what it really means to be All-America, but it's exciting to be mentioned in Sports 'u Illustrated. I'm glad we are back in the Metro Classic. I'll just play hard and hope for the best."
* HOOP SHOTS: Devin Gray was hot and Mount St. Joe was not. Gray led St. Frances (12-2) to the boys Catholic League title, scoring 39 and 27 points in two weekend victories. St. Joe (11-3) lost its bid to tie St. Frances in Friday's 68-66 loss to Loyola. The Gaels rebounded yesterday, stopping Calvert Hall 68-47 in a contest that doubled as a key MSA A Conference game. St. Joe stands 7-3 in Division I of the A Conference, tied with Walbrook, but will advance to next week's A Conference semifinals by virtue of a single point in the tie-breaker procedure. The Gaels will play Division II winner Southern (9-1), while Dunbar (10-0), the Division I champ, will face either Lake Clifton (7-2) or Cardinal Gibbons (7-2). Those two play tomorrow at Lake Clifton (3:30).