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Langford Lifts his Team in OT
by Andrew Force, Future150 (2:17 PM CT, Sat November 22, 2014)
Langford plays above competition
Langford plays above competition
Andrew Force
Andrew Force:

Future150 National Analyst. Covering High and Middle School basketball.

Madison, AL (Future150) -- Only a dozen guys each year have the ability to completely elevate their team to victory. Thursday night Josh Langford proved he is one of those superstar talents in the Class of 2016.

Trailing J.O. Johnson High School the entire basketball game, Langford rallied his troops three separate times.  Down 67-63 in the final minute of regulation Langford converted an acrobatic layup and contributed two free throws on the subsequent offensive possession. 

After his teammate improbably beat the buzzer off a backdoor feed, Langford braced for more. 

“It was a rough game, but I knew if we had more heart than them we would win the game,” said Langford.  “So that is what I did. Great competitors know how to push through adversity.”

In overtime he had eight points, two defensive rebounds, and a steal.  He actually blocked the final shot of the game 25’ from the basket. 

Simply put he did everything, more than one human should be able to do. 

The junior is an incredible slasher capable of looking down upon the rim.  The leaping ability and power midflight reminds of a young Dwyane Wade. 

“Every time it seemed like they had three guys on me when I went to the basket,” said Langford.  “They would come up, so I would just drop it off.  My jump shot really wasn’t going, so I knew I had to get it the hard way.”

Langford scored 37 points and absorbed 17 fouls. J.O. Johnson clearly intended to rattle the scorer by bumping him, brushing against him, and wholly annoying him with needless mind games.  Most of the moments of down time, as the ball was out of bounds, one or two defenders would lean on him like an overmatched boxing opponent. 

Despite the challenges Langford emerged with the win.

“I think he has the total skill set offensively,” said Head Coach Andy Blackston.  “There is really not a dimension of his skill set that he does not have.”

In addition to controlling the game offensively Langford locked down an elite Class of 2017 forward in John Petty. 

With his elegant shooting motion, Petty led J.O. Johnson’s first half surge, but his production tapered off late in the contest.  After halftime he was 1-of-6 beyond five feet.

“He wanted to guard John Petty,” said Coach Blackston.  “He wanted him and that is a good sign.” 

Recruiting bites

Michigan State Assistant Coach Dane Fife sat courtside the entire game.  Auburn Head Coach Bruce Pearl popped in during the second quarter and stayed until the end.  Coach Pearl is interested in Petty and possibly another J.O. Johnson underclassman.  MSU could contend for Langford, but the competition is fierce.  Nearly every SEC school has offered.  Amongst others Kentucky has expressed interest.

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