Matthew Johnson certainly is glad to be playing basketball once again on a regular basis.
Johnson only played in a few games at the end of last season after recovering from a torn meniscus in his first season at Stevenson after transferring from Batavia High School.
He definitely is fitting in this winter with the Patriots, and his good health sure seems to help.
Johnson was one of four players in double figures, helping lead Stevenson past Mundelein 90-55 in the Pats' North Suburban Lake Division opener on Saturday night in Lincolnshire.
Jalen Brunson led the Patriots with 26 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals. Johnson and Matt Morrissey each chipped in with 13 points, and Morrissey also pulled down 9 rebounds. Freshman Justin Smith contributed 10 points off the bench.
"It's all good, because we're all like family," said Johnson, a junior. "It's all based on how we were playing, and I took what I got out there. I have to thank my teammates, because they're the ones that got me the ball."
Stevenson improved to 6-0 overall, while Mundelein dropped to 1-7 and 0-2 in the Lake.
The Mustangs led 2-0 through the first couple of minutes, as Sam Nelson (13 points, 6 rebounds) made a couple of free throws.
But that was only time Mundelein held the lead.
The Patriots after that went on a 20-5 run as Brunson dropped in a 3-pointer with 1:55 left and Stevenson led 26-11 after the first quarter.
"We were able to get to the basket," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "We had a pretty good start. (Mundelein) caused us to get off our game. But once we get going we were solid out there."
Stevenson extended its lead to 34-11 when Johnson converted a 3-point play with 6:32 left in the second quarter.
Mundelein made a run of its own, with Nelson hit a couple of 3's during a 13-2 run to cut the lead to 36-24 with 4:15 left.
The Patriots answered in a hurry with Brunson scoring 6 points in a 14-5 spurt to put Stevenson ahead 50-29 at the break.
"We did some good things here and there in the second quarter," Mundelein coach Corey Knigge said. "We did some good things to make a run at (Stevenson). Against a good team like that and a real good defense, if you have a split-second mental lapse where you're not quite need to be and don't quite do what you're supposed to do, they will make you pay -- and they did it a lot."
Stevenson extended its surge into the second half with an 18-4 run and led 68-33 with over two minutes left in the third quarter.
Pierre Bailey led Mundelein with 16 points and 6 rebounds off the bench.