5-Star Performer: Dahlgren, Johnson set milestones for Kearney boys basketball

Local4 News at 10
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 10:48 PM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Kearney boys basketball feels it has a lot to prove.

“We can compete with anybody in the state,” Bearcat sophomore Ben Johnson said.

Johnson and senior Jack Dahlgren are setting the example.

“Just seeing the growth from all of our guys,” Kearney boys basketball coach Drake Beranek said. “Ben Johnson’s stepped up and obviously Jack Dahlgren has played for a while and he’s continued to get better throughout the year and throughout his career.”

The senior-sophomore duo had a big game Saturday in a win at Omaha Bryan. Johnson scored a career-high 28 points, while Dahlgren entered the top-15 all-time scoring leaders in Bearcat history with a 20-point performance.

“I was just really shocked,” Dahlgren said. “I didn’t even know — I had no idea I was that even close. It’s a good honor and I’m going to try and keep climbing up that list a little bit more.”

“When you score a lot then you know you can play good even more,” Johnson added. “So I’m just trying to keep it up.”

It’s a full circle season for both Bearcat standouts. Dahlgren played with Ben’s brother Jack Johnson. He’s now giving the same guidance he received back to Ben.

“He kind of took me under [his] wing,” Dahlgren said. “I’m kind of trying to take Ben under my wing like Jack did for me.”

“Jack’s a good dude,” Johnson added. “He’s like an older brother.”

“Anytime you get some talented kids it’s nice that they have brothers,” Beranek added. “Jack Johnson did a nice job of preparing Jack Dahlgren and so it’s kind of the pay it forward.”

And despite already having 10 wins, the Bearcats are out to prove more people wrong.

“We’ve still got a lot of wins, but people still are counting us out,” Dahlgren said. “So we still have a lot to prove.”