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Dogs run out of steam in 64-47 loss to Red Foxes

Posted: January 28, 2012 12:30 p.m.
Updated: January 30, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Ron McKie could see it coming and see it going, as well.
What the Camden boys’ coach saw in watching his team’s game with visiting Hartsville on Friday was the Red Foxes’ recharging their batteries while his Bulldogs were nearing empty on the gas gauge.
As HHS held onto the ball for the final 45 or so seconds of its 64-47 win over the Bulldogs, more than one CHS player could be seen tugging at their shorts, a sign of weariness. And with the way the Red Foxes come at you with a steady stream of athletes, who could blame the hosts if they were not dog-tired after this one. Certainly not their head coach.
“I was kind of disappointed in how we finished,” McKie said following his team’s fifth loss in seven Region 6-AAA outings, “but I knew our kids were dead-tired and did all they could do.”
Camden battled back from a 13-point deficit late in the third quarter and would close the gap to six before the Red Foxes (6-1 in 6-AAA) closed with a 16-5 run in the final six and a half minutes of the game.
Trailing 46-33 with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter, the Bulldogs used a 16-foot Dashon Tucker jumper and a Jamari Ferguson 3-point basket in the closing 55 seconds of the stanza to cut the lead to 46-38.
The guests used a pair of Jaylen Shaw free throws to open the fourth quarter and extend their lead to 10 points. Camden then got four straight points from Ferguson, on a jumper and then a second chance basket, to narrow things to 48-42 with 7:08 left in the game. The Bulldog spurt led to HHS coach Aric Samuel calling a quick time out.
The Red Foxes came out of that break by going on a 12-2 run, fueled in part by five points from second-five player Brandon Avant and four from fellow reserve Davontae Washington, to put this one away at 60-44 with 3:22 left.
“We worked so hard in cutting it down to six that sometimes, you don’t have any legs left to get yourself over the hump,” McKie said of his team’s late-game struggles. “Give (Hartsville) credit; they’re better than us. They have better athletes and better basketball players. They keep them fresh and bring (good) players off the bench.”
Hartsville’s depth was no better displayed than by taking a peak at the bench scoring as the guests held a 28-5 advantage in scoring by the non-starters.
Early on, Camden’s starters hung in against the Red Fox thanks in large part to Hamid Mathis, who scored six of the Dogs’ first 10 points of the night as the host jumped to a 10-6 lead in the games first three and a half minutes. HHS used 3-pointers from reserves Avant and Demeshion Smith in a quarter-closing 11-4 run to carry a 17-14 lead into the second stanza.
The Dogs went on the attack in the second quarter as they found holes in the HHS full-court, man-to-man pressure defense. A Darelle Smith basket and a traditional 3-point play courtesy of Josh Council opened things as Camden regained the lead at 19-15 in the opening 52 seconds of the quarter. CHS then used a 4-0 surge, capped by a one-handed slam dunk from Fidel Wise to go up, 23-19, at the 5:26 mark.
The Red Foxes, though, responded with a 14-0 run which included a slam of their own from Tevin Prescott and a pair of 3-point baskets to open up a 33-23 lead. Council stopped the bleeding for the hosts when he closed the first half scoring with a 10-foot jumper in the closing minutes.
Trailing, 33-25 at intermission, McKie could see the Foxes’ revolving door system of substitution beginning to take its toll on his team.
“All that fatigue keeps you from what you need to do on defense and in getting up and down the court,” he said. “They bring them in five at a time. We subbed as much as we could. We went down the bench and brought in some kids who haven’t received a whole lot of playing time and you could tell; but they all played hard.”
Using a tip-in and a layup from Wise and a 15-footer from Council, Camden cut the deficit to 37-31 by the five-minute mark of the third quarter. But HHS kick-started its offense and would use a 9-2 surge to open a 46-33 advantage after a LaKeith Ingram layin with 90 ticks left on the third quarter clock.
The Bulldogs had one last salvo for the guests in outscoring the Foxes by a 9-2 count over the course of less than two minutes between the third and fourth quarters. But when the Red Foxes emerged from the time out with 7:08 to play and leading by six, they appeared to have gotten their legs back under them against a tiring CHS unit.
“We cut it to six and they called a time out. We had some momentum, but coming out, we ran out of gas because we had put so much into it to that point,” McKie said.
“I thought our kids fought and did as much as they could with what we have. I’m proud of their effort. We just ran out of gas, like the first time we played them.”
With three games left in the regular season, the Bulldogs need a sweep this week to keep their post-season dreams alive. The good thing for Camden is that it will play two of those three games at home, but next Tuesday’s finale with Darlington could be a moot point unless the Dogs come up big this week.
“If we don’t beat Lakewood and Marlboro County, we don’t have a chance,” McKie said. “We have to win our two games (this) week or, we’re definitely out.”

HHS (64): Donnie Benjamin 3 2-4 8, Jaylen Shaw 3 7-7 14, Zeke Copeland 3 0-0 6, Tevin Prescott 4 0-0 8, LaKeith Ingram 4 0-1 9, Brandon Avant 3 0-0 8, Demeshion Smith 2 0-0 5, Alex Gotlieb 0 2-4 2, Davontae Washington 2 0-0 4. Totals: 24 11-16 64
CHS (47): Darelle Smith 2 0-0 4, Fidel Wise 4 1-2 9, Hamid Mathis 4 0-1 8, Josh Council 4 1-1 10, Jamari Ferguson 4 2-2 11, Travis Smith 0 1-2 1, Bryton McEachin 1 0-0 2, Dashon Tucker 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 5-8 47

Score by quarters: First: HHS, 17-14; Halftime: HHS, 33-25; Third: HHS, 46-38; Three-point goals: HHS 5 (Avant 2, Shaw, Ingram, Smith); CHS 2 (Council, Ferguson)

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