Barlow held a 20-point lead with two minutes to play Friday night usually time to head to the parking lot early and beat traffic. But no one was leaving the gym early on this night. The crowd was on its feet and chants of We got T.J. filled the air. It was time to celebrate.
Barlow High boys basketball coach Tom Johnson picked up his 500th career victory, 12th all-time on the Oregon preps list, after watching his Bruins pull away in the fourth quarter to down rival Gresham 65-47.
Johnson enjoys the spotlight about as much as a cat likes a bucket of water.
He tried to keep to a regular post-game routine, but there was no denying that tonight was something special.
Barlow Athletic Director pulled him to the front of the scorers table and presented a plaque honoring the achievement. Johnson pointed to the crowd in appreciation and sent his players off to celebrate with the student section.
First to track down Johnson were his two sons Drew and Jared, each of who played for their dad in recent years. The embrace was one of many for Johnson to share on this night as parents, fans and former players made their way to the Barlow bench after the game.