Basketball

Johnsburg adds Marian Central transfer Jonny Preston to lineup

Marian Central transfer grew up playing with Skyhawk seniors; adds another scoring threat

CRYSTAL LAKE – It’s easy to look at Johnsburg’s Zach Toussaint and see his scoring ability and deep 3-point range. What catches Jonny Preston’s eye is Toussaint’s passing skill.

“I love it, honestly,” Preston said. “He’s a pretty underrated passer, so it’s really easy. He creates a lot of shots off the dribble.”

Preston, who lives in Johnsburg, played the past three years at Marian Central, but has transferred to Johnsburg for his senior year of high school. He has fit in nicely this summer with his new teammates, many of whom he played with in middle school and youth basketball growing up.

“I’m really excited to get going this season,” Preston said. “Just talking to my parents and stuff, I felt it was the best opportunity for me.”

Johnsburg was one of a number of local teams participating in this weekend’s Crystal Lake South Garry Collins Shootout, which began Friday and continues Saturday.

Preston gives Johnsburg another guard who has scoring abilities. He provides a nice complement to Toussaint, who led the area with 22.8 points a game last season. Johnsburg coach Mike Toussaint is glad to have the 6-foot, 155-pound Preston in a Skyhawks jersey.

“He brings defense, grit, shooting,” Mike Toussaint said. “He really can do it all. He plays some backup point guard for us, he could be with Zach on the wing a little bit. He adds depth to our lineup.”

Preston mostly came off the bench as a junior for Marian. He guarded Zach Toussaint during the fourth quarter of a regional semifinal game in February, holding him to one field goal, although Johnsburg came away with a five-point win. The Skyhawks went on to win their first regional title since 2012.

Zach Toussaint said Preston has fit into the lineup well so far.

“First off, [he’s] a scorer, catch and shoot, able to get his own shot,” Zach Toussaint said. “Scrappy defender, he’ll work in real nice.”

Preston is enjoying Johnsburg’s offensive style.

“We like to get up and down the court and move the ball,” Preston said. “A lot of shooters. It should be fun.”

It’s possible Preston could wind up in the starting lineup come November. The Skyhawks have to fill the starting spots left open by the departures of graduated forwards Mason Sobiesk and Brody Frazier.

Rising seniors Jacob Gutierrez and Gibson Groves could see significant minutes at the forward positions. Mike Toussaint noted that Groves has gotten a lot stronger and improved his jump shot this summer.

Preston said the Skyhawks might be a little undersized, but he thinks they make up for it with their defensive abilities.

“It’s looking good,” Mike Toussaint said. “I’m excited. We’ve got the pieces to be as good as we were last year, or if not, better.”

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