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Sluggish Dogs fend off Chapin, 63-49

CHS locks down playoff slot in victory

Posted: February 11, 2014 11:43 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Monday was supposed to have been the day in which the Camden basketball team was to implement the game plan for Tuesday night’s scheduled game with Chapin.
Then, Mother Nature threw a curveball at the Bulldogs.
With inclement weather in the offing, like most schools in the state, Camden moved its game up a day to avoid sending teams on the road in less-than-favorable conditions while avoiding an end of season scheduling snafu. The result was the Bulldogs looking every bit of a team which needed an extra day of practice, but one which locked down a AAA state playoff berth with a 63-49 win over visiting Chapin on the Michael G. Culp Court.
The victory was the fourth straight for Ron McKie’s charges, who improved to 7-4 in Region 4-AAA play heading into Friday’s home regular season finale against Lower Richland. That contest will decide which of the two sides finishes in third place in the conference.
As he stood outside an open door at the back end of the Camden gym, McKie was hardly the picture of a man whose team is tournament-bound.
“I was disappointed in our effort, to be honest,” he said. “I thought (Chapin) played a lot harder than us. I know it’s tough to play a team which is toward the bottom of our region, but I just wasn’t pleased with our effort.
“We’ve had a few days off (since playing last Wednesday) and, maybe that’s my fault. We just didn’t sprint up and down the court. I was wondering if we were ever going to wake up. We did in the second quarter, after we put in some subs. And the kids who came off the bench did a pretty good job. Tyrone Kelly did a great job for us off the bench.”
One player who saw precious little time on the sidelines was Camden guard Josh Sumpter. The senior continued his torrid play with a game-high 25 points. Sumpter was at his best in the tail end of the third quarter after the Eagles chopped a 28-16 deficit to 28-26 with 2:49 to go in the stanza.
Sumpter closed the third quarter by draining back-to-back treys before sticking a 10-foot jumper followed by a quarter-closing layin off a fast break to push the Camden lead back to double digits, at 38-28, heading into the fourth quarter.
Sumpter would later be helped off the floor in the final 20 seconds after cramping up while going in for a layup.
“He’s been doing that the last part of the region season,” McKie said of Sumpter’s putting the Bulldogs on his shoulders. “When we need a big basket, he makes one. He just plays so hard.
“I have to play him so much. He cramped up at the end of the game. But when he’s doing all our scoring, I hate to put him on the bench because nobody else is scoring for us. I had to play him a lot of minutes again tonight.
“He’s a gutsy kid. He got hit in the thigh and he was limping, but he didn’t want to come out. He’s just had a great last half of the region run.”
Playing for the first time in five nights after having had Friday night off, the Bulldogs found themselves trailing, 7-2, with less than two minutes left in a first quarter which ended with Chapin getting a Sean Urbancy 3-point jumper to take a 12-9 lead.
Inserting Kelly into the post late in the first quarter was exactly the pick-me-up Camden needed as the 6-foot-4 sophomore scored two baskets in the first stanza before opening the second with a layin. Jordan Sumpter followed with an 18-foot jumper before baskets from Josh Sumpter and Denzel Martin sandwiched two Delton Bradford free throws as the hosts used a 10-0 run to break out to a 19-12 advantage.
The first half ended with Camden going on a 7-0 spree which included five points from Bradford as the home team headed to the locker room with a 26-14 lead which went to 28-14 when D.J. Wilson opened the second half with a layin.
As quickly as Camden looked to have this one locked up, Chapin got red-hot from beyond the arc with a pair of Tanner Springston treys touching off a 10-0 run as the Eagles climbed to within 28-26 before Josh Sumpter started to take matters into his own hands.
Chapin finished the night knocking down eight baskets from long distance after having hit nine 3-balls in their first meeting with Camden. Even with his team not having game-planned on Monday, McKie said his defense knew what to expect from the guests.
“What disappointed me the most was that we were just standing there and watched their shooters shoot,” he said as he shook his head. “We play a match-up zone and I’ve taught these kids to stay on the shooters and don’t squeeze when they penetrate.
“Then, we turn our head, they kick it out, they shoot and we don’t put a hand up … it’s very frustrating.”
Camden equaled its longest lead in kicking off the fourth quarter with layins from Wilson and Kelly to make it 42-28. Using the 3-point shot exclusively, Chapin closed the gap to 50-43 with 2:41 left in the game when Blake Edwards bottomed out a 3-pointer. The Eagles made the Dogs sweat even more following consecutive baskets from Springston and Urbancy which tightened things to 51-47 with 1:55 to play.
Needing to foul and get a quick basket on the other end, the Eagles sent the Dogs to the line seven times with Alexx Cooke hitting four as the lead went back to 56-47 with 63 ticks left in the game clock. Chapin had nothing left in the tank at the end with its shots coming up short. Meanwhile, Camden closed the game with two baskets and a free throw from Bradford --- who finished with 15 points --- and Josh Sumpter’s layin completing a game-closing 12-2 run over the final 98 seconds of play.
McKie said this was hardly an artistic masterpiece by his squad.
“We were out of sync,” he said. “Maybe it’s because we didn’t get a lot of practice lately and moving the game up. (Sunday’s) practice was going to be one where we worked on the fundamentals and (Monday), we were going to work on our strategy, but we didn’t get to do that because we moved the game up.
“This late in the season, though, we should know what we’re doing against a man and a 1-3-1 zone defense. We were sloppy with our passes in the first quarter. I just think we took them too lightly. But give Chapin credit. They played their hearts out. They gave us everything that they had.”
 
Playoff scenario: Camden is now two games up on Westwood, which has two games left to be played. But the Dogs own all the tie-breakers should the two sides both finish region play with 7-5 records. Lower Richland (6-4) has a game with River Bluff before coming to Camden for Friday’s Senior Night/Valentine’s Night contest.

Chapin (49): Nash Parham 1 0-2 2, Tyler Werner 4 3-3 11, Zack Spotts 2 0-0 4, Sean Urbancy 4 2-3 13, Tanner Springston 4 0-1 11, Matt Anderson 1 0-0 2, Blake Edwards 2 0-0 6 Totals: 18 5-9 49
Camden (63): Josh Sumpter 10 1-2 25, Tyrone Kelly 4 0-1 8, Jordan Sumpter 1 0-0 2, Delton Bradford 4 7-8 15, Denzel Martin 2 0-0 5, D.J. Wilson 2 0-0 4, Alexx Cooke 0 4-5 4 Totals: 23 12-16 63
Score by quarters: First: Chapin, 12-9; Halftime: Camden, 26-14; Third: Camden, 38-28; Three-point goals: Chapin 8 (Urbancy 3, Springston 3, Edwards 2; Camden 5 (Josh Sumpter 4, Martin 1)

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