Ever since June when Ronnie Johnson had a superior performance to Kevin Ferrell during an Indiana Junior/Senior all-star game, there has been a debate brewing. The debate centered around which point guard, one headed to Indiana and one headed to Purdue, is better.
On Friday evening for the first time in their high school careers, Johnson and Ferrell had a chance to go against each other in front of a sold out house of very interested onlookers. Though neither player had much of a chance to guard the other, and that was known going in, it was still an opportunity to see the two four-star prospects up close on opposite sides of the floor.
North Central, led by Johnson, came in ranked No. 1 in the state in 4A while Park Tudor, led by Ferrell, was ranked No. 1 in the state at 2A. That along with the hype of the matchup created a major buzz.
From the opening tip it was clear this would be Park Tudor’s night. Led by Ferrell, Park Tudor was able to breeze through the North Central press, and once that happened it was an absolute shooting gallery. Park Tudor knocked in 11 first half three pointers.
Ferrell, who at times during the summer struggled with decision making on when to shoot and when to pass, was making all the right choices. Though his own shot wasn’t falling early, Ferrell got others involved as Park Tudor took command.
“Oh my god, I was loving it,” said Ferrell of the way his teammates were knocking in threes. “All their shots kept going in and I kept giving it to them. That is what we do during practice. We get shots up all the time. They just kept knocking them down.”
Johnson was able to keep North Central in the game by knocking in some threes of his own, but it was simply not to be. He was struggling to penetrate the 2-3 zone employed by Park Tudor, and the future Boilermaker was just slightly off with his game.
Park Tudor controlled the whole way building their lead out to 20 points, and Ferrell was the catalyst. He finished with 13 points and nine assists, and controlled the flow of the game by breaking through the North Central press. Johnson finished with 17 points and four assists for North Central, but in the end it was Park Tudor that came home with an 83-61 win.
Coming in there was a lot of talk about the two point guards matching up, but Ferrell says it wasn’t a big deal for him.
“I don’t get into all the hype really,” said Ferrell of the much talked about matchup. “All I wanted to do was come in and win.”
While Ferrell didn’t get into the hype of the individual matchup, it did bring a smile to his face when talking about how his team got the win in a matchup that will occur several times over the next four years.
“It was fun, this is Indiana basketball,” said Ferrell. “I was looking in the crowd before the game there were IU fans and Purdue fans. It is a great rivalry going into next year and it will be fun.”