Helena Johnson’s 3-pointers lift Westside’s girls

Junior shooting guard Helena Johnson is constructing a legacy at Houston’s Westside High School.

“That kid can walk in the gym wearing jeans and a backpack and she’s ready to shoot,” said Westside head coach Troy Gillespie. “When I get to the range (3-point distance) part of the court and give her the ball, she’ll just hit it. I mean it’s uncanny.

“I was slowing down her release on film the other day,” said Gillespie, who has spent 16 years at Westside, including the last 12 as head coach. “It’s just so picture perfect with the off-hand coming off the ball and it’s very linear. When she’s squared up and her feet are set, it’s money.”

In a key District 18-6A showdown with rival Bellaire on Jan. 19, Johnson converted 5-of-6 three-point shots to lead the Lady Wolves to a 57-47 victory.

Johnson had two treys in the first half as Westside took a 26-20 advantage to intermission. Jordan Lewis had eight first-half points.

When Bellaire closed to within 32-29 in the third stanza, Johnson drilled two more 3-pointers to give Westside a 43-34 edge entering the final frame.

Westside improved to 8-0 in district play.

“We try to bring our A game every time and particularly against Bellaire,” Johnson said.

The Lady Wolves converted 8-of-12 free throws in the fourth quarter to keep Bellaire at bay.