By Ken Ryan
When St. Joseph dropped a number of close games earlier this season, senior Reggie Johnson didnt panic.I never doubted (our potential), Johnson said. You could see we had a lot of talent and it was just a matter of time before we came together. Early on we were just hitting walls, but were jelling at the right time.St. Joseph certainly looked good Friday, beating Farragut 58-50 in overtime to capture the Class 3A Nazareth Regional championship.The Chargers (20-8) are seeded No. 6 in the Glenbard South Sectional and will now take on No. 2 Marshall, which beat Westinghouse 77-60 Friday, in the sectional semifinal Wednesday.To get a regional championship is great, said Johnson, who had 13 points, six steals and five rebounds. We knew (Farragut) was ranked over us in the sectional so this was a big game. When it got to clutch time, we let our emotions calm down and were able to pull out the win.St. Joseph scored the first four points of overtime and led the rest of the way.Farragut (14-9) pulled within 49-47, but the Chargers closed the game on a 9-3 run to clinch the title.I said by the end of the year we were going to be competitive and we could make a run, St. Joseph coach Gene Pingatore said. Were not as good as I thought, but I knew we had the potential if we worked at it to get better by the end of the year. It hasnt come easy, so its rewarding.Both teams had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation.St. Joseph had the ball with 1:10 remaining and tried to hold on for one shot, but turned the ball over with 18.7 seconds left. After a Farragut timeout, Farragut senior Rashaun Stimage drove to the basket, but missed a layup sending the game to overtime.Stimage battled foul trouble the entire contest, but still finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.It was a team effort, Johnson said. Rashaun still got his points, but we wore him down and he wasnt able to finish the game. He had a layup (in the closing seconds of regulation) he normally would make (to win the game), but since he was tired and worn down, it made a difference.St. Joseph used a balanced attack with Avery Harmon contributing 14 points and four steals, Karriem Simmons getting 10 points and eight rebounds, Paul Turner contributing nine points, three rebounds and three steals and A.J. Patty finishing with eight points and eight rebounds.It was so loud in the locker room I couldnt even hear my coach talking (after the game), Harmon said. It was tough, but we pulled it out. We always get better as the season goes on. Right now, I think this game just shows how good we are and where we can go with this team. As long as we keep listening to coach and playing our game we can beat anybody.