Johnson and Smith combine for 38 points in the “Battle of the Beltway” as Raiders move to 5-0

The Loch Raven boys basketball team remained undefeated Friday night as the Raiders defeated Towson, 74-55, in the annual Battle of the Beltway matchup played at Goucher College.

Sophomore Cortez Johnson (left) scored 23 points and freshman Caron Smith added 15 as Loch Raven improved to 5-0 with win over Towson.

The Raiders, now 5-0, continue to prosper behind the play of a pair of underclassman as sophomore Cortez Johnson and freshman Caron Smith combined for 38 points to pace the victory.

Johnson, who is averaging a double-double with 19.6 points and 16.8 rebounds per game, scored a game-high 23 points on Friday, while adding 14 rebounds, six blocks and five assists.

“Cortez is playing at a high level, which is a result of the all the work he put in this summer on becoming a better all around player,” said Loch Raven coach Brandon Thomas. “He’s a very coachable kid with a high basketball IQ. Our lone varsity freshman Caron Smith has really come on as of late and is starting to answer the call on both ends of the floor.”

Smith scored 15 points for the Raiders and added three rebounds and three assists.

“I am proud of the way we are galvanizing up to this point,” added Thomas. “We are still building trust and they are learning how to communicate and play as a unit. We are far off from where we want to be but we are taking the right steps to get there as a team and a family.”

In the opening game of the double-header, the Loch Raven girls team also defeated Towson, 39-32.

Julie Rose led the way for the Raiders, scoring 11 points to go with eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. Jordan Ragsdale added five points, 13 rebounds and two steals.