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Camden girls gain split of series against L-E with 56-42 win

Posted: December 10, 2011 1:12 p.m.
Updated: December 12, 2011 5:00 a.m.

This was one instance in which a player did not have to be told what to do more than once by a head coach.

During her team’s practices, Camden High girls’ basketball coach Natalie Jeffcoat and assistant Cassandra Summers encourage, if not demand, Sharneece Gary to step back beyond the 3-point stripe and shoot the ball when the shot is there for the taking.

Friday night on the Mike Culp Court inside the Dog Pound, the Lady Bulldog guard must have had her coaches’ words in the back of her mind as the sophomore scored a career-best 18 points in a 56-42 win over visiting Lugoff-Elgin.

The victory was the second in a row for CHS (2-1) which gained a season split with Von Duncan’s Lady Demons (1-3).

Gary tossed in three consecutive 3-point jumpers to help CHS to a 13-6 lead after one quarter. She would add a fourth in the third quarter.

Later, Jeffcoat said she was more than pleased with Gary’s shot selection.

"Being able to shoot the three cures a lot of ills," she said of Gary’s night. "In practice, she’s unconscious. She shoots that way in practice. We tell her that whenever she gets the ball, she’s to find that (3-point) line, get behind it and put it up."

Gary’s offensive production on Friday doubled the amount of points which she had against L-E in a loss a week earlier. All Duncan could do after the game was to give Gary credit for getting the job done against the Lady Demons’ zone defense which was devised to limit the damage incurred by CHS center Chelsea Reynolds.

"We ran the (2-3) zone at our place against Chelsea, because she’s a veteran player and you always want to target the players you know," Duncan said. "We went at them with a zone tonight and (Gary) was trying to pull us out of the zone. She was on fire and was hitting her shots. What can you do?"

Gary’s trio of triples, which came in a span of less than three minutes, broke a 4-4 tied. The third gave CHS a 13-4 lead at the 1:20 mark of a first quarter which ended with L-E’s Aneka Dixon, who led her team with 15 points, scoring on a drive to the basket with 73 ticks left in the first quarter clock.

Camden used a pair of Porsha Griffin baskets to pull out to a 17-9 lead in the first half of the second quarter. L-E then threw a full-court press at Camden. A week earlier, the Lady Bulldogs came undone against the end-to-end pressure and this time, it seemed to be working, at first, as L-E went on a 6-0 run with Dahiana Rodriguez opening and capping the flurry with a jumper and then, a layin off a steal which cut the lead to 17-14 with 3:16 to play before halftime.

Camden, however, settled down on offense and used a Reynolds free throw and putback to touch off a 10-5 run which closed the first half with the hostesses on top, 27-19. The rally included a Quasha Jefferson stickback and a steal and layin courtesy of point guard Jazzmine Devlin.

While not perfect against the press, CHS made great strides against it in one week.

"You could tell that they watched and studied the film and dissected what we did. They battled back against it," Duncan said. "That’s what good coaches do; they watch film and work to do something against it."

Her team’s press-breaking was better, but still needs work, Jeffcoat said.

"I thought we did a better job against the press, but I still felt like we turned it over too much," she said. "I was surprised they didn’t go with it the whole first half. But we did better against it, especially toward the end of the game where we were able to break it and get some easy layups on the other end."

L-E used a 7-3 rally to open the second half and trim the deficit to 30-26 with 1:34 to play in the third quarter. The guests could have gotten closer, if not tied the game but missed five of six free throws. CHS closed the stanza with nine unanswered points, including a pair of treys to end the quarter. The first came with 24 seconds left courtesy of Gary. The second was when Dree Dubose’s bomb bounced off the back of the rim and dropped through the net as the buzzer sounded with the Lady Bulldogs on top, 39-26.

Camden would put this one away when it used baskets from Dubose, Reynolds and Gary to offset a Samantha Jean stickback in the opening 90 seconds of the fourth quarter to extend the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 45-28. When Dubose sank a pair of free throws and Brook Dixon nailed a 12-foot jumper, CHS was comfortably on top, 49-29, with 5:44 to play.

A Dixon 3-ball would close the gap to 53-39 at the three-minute marker, but Camden used a Reynolds layin, as the 6-foot-2 center got out on the fast break to hoist the lead to 55-39 with two minutes to play.

L-E never seemed to get into a rhythm in this contest like it did a week earlier. More strenuous practices could have been the reason for that, Duncan said.

"We’ve been doing a little more conditioning lately because we’ve been struggling getting up and down the court so, we’ve been working on some transition drills. I think we played like we were tired," she said. "We didn’t have our shooting rhythm. Our defense was OK, but you still have to put some points on the board."

As for Camden, Jeffcoat said this win, which came on the heels of a victory over McBee on Tuesday, was one which her young group sorely needed.

"Confidence-wise, it was a big win," she said with a smile. "The team I saw tonight was the one that I thought that we could be."

 

L-E (42):

CHS (56):

Chelsea Reynolds 5 3-10 13, Porsha Griffin 3 0-0 6, Dree Dubose 3 2-2 9, Chloe Poole 0 0-2 0, Sharneece Gary 5 3-6 18, Quasha Jefferson 1 1-2 3, Jazzmine Devlin 1 1-2 3, Brook Dixon 2 0-0 4. Totals: 20 10-24 56

Score by quarters:

First: CHS, 13-6; Halftime: CHS, 27-19; Third: CHS, 39-26; Three-point goals: L-E 1 (Dixon); CHS 5 (Gary 4, Dubose)

 

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