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Katie Johnson's milestone 1,000 point came on unusual shot

Practice and mindset contribute to the Perham senior's successful basketball career.

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Perham senior guard Katie Johnson drives to the hoop for a successful field goal and her 1,000th career point in a commanding Yellowjacket victory over the Laker girls Thursday night at Ralph Anderson Gymnasium. Robert Williams / Tribune

Perham senior Katie Johnson was well aware that she was only two points away from hitting the 1,000 point milestone in the Yellowjackets game against Detroit Lakes Friday, March 12.

"It had been on my mind all day so I was excited to finally get a chance to play and reach it," Johnson said. "After I finally got the two points I needed, a wave of relief came over me. Even though I had a mask on at the time, I'm sure everyone knew I was smiling at that moment."

Johnson, however, wasn't the only one aware of how close she was. According to head coach TJ Super, "Everyone was well aware that she only need two points, including Detroit Lakes that was really focused on stopping her."

Many people may have thought she would hit the milestone on a three-point shot, which is what she is well know for, but how she reached it was surprisingly different.

"She made a really nice backdoor cut for a left-handed layup," Super said. "Anyone that has seen Katie play know that isn't how she's scored most of her points, so it was fun to see."

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In her basketball career, Johnson has made more than 230 three-pointers and has a 42% shooting percentage behind the arc. She attributes that success to practice and a mindset that she holds herself to.

"I never want to have 'off' days where I shoot poorly," she said. "Shooting is something that when you put the time and effort in, it becomes evident during practice and games."

Johnson has also been playing basketball as long as she can remember. "Since I was little, I've always participated in our team camps and skills and drills practices every chance I could get," she said. "I grew up in a very sport-oriented environment so I was introduced to many different games and developed a very competitive side from a young age.

"From the start, I knew that basketball was going to be a huge part of my life," she continued. "I just completely fell in love with so many different aspects of it. It became so important to me that whenever I felt stressed, I looked to basketball as a relief."

That dedication was evident to Super when he started coaching her in ninth grade. She started playing varsity midway through that year, and by the end of that year, she was a vital part of team.

"She was always a great shooter, but that was mostly what she did right away," Super said. "She has vastly improved her defense, especially talking on the court and being a great help at defense. She has also improved with her ball handling and passing."

Achieving this milestone is even more impressive considering Johnson is a four-sport athlete, participating in volleyball, softball, and tennis. Additionally, because the season was cut short, she had fewer opportunities to score, which Super said made this goal even more of an achievement.

"I'm so happy that she was able to achieve this milestone, especially in eight fewer games this year due to COVID," Super said. "She has continued to grow and improve and I'm excited to see what she brings to the next level!"

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Johnson has verbally committed to play basketball at Valley City State University next year.

She is just the twelfth member of the Perham Girls Basketball Program to reach the 1,000 point milestone.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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