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Council leads Dogs past Crestwood in 6-AAA opener

L-E drops pair to Irmo; CMA falls to Heathwood Hall

Posted: January 8, 2011 2:18 p.m.
Updated: January 10, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Camden opened play in Region 6-AAA play with a convincing 54-31 win over homestanding Crestwood in a Friday night game played in Sumter.

The Bulldogs (7-1) shut the host Knights out in the first quarter, leading 12-0, and never looked back after that as the hosts struggled to find open space against Camden’s zone defensive set..

Crestwood did make a second quarter surge behind Seth Fitzgerald, who scored 10 of his team’s 12 points before intermission.

Sophomore guard Josh Council scored 16 of his game-best 21 points in the second half to lead Ron McKie’s charges to their sixth straight victory.

After Council, Tayler Workman was next in the scoring parade for the Dogs with 11 points while Jamari Ferguson and Darelle Smith added six points each.

Lady Bulldogs come up short:

The Lady Bulldogs scored the game’s first six points and jumped to a 10-7 lead after the first quarter. The visitors would carry a 21-18 advantage into the locker room at halftime, but only scored 12 second half points as the Lady Knights (13-2) switched to a 2-3 defensive scheme which gave Camden problems in the second 16 minutes of the contest.

Crestwood put things away with a 17-2 surge in the fourth quarter.

Junior center Chelsea Reynolds led Natalie Jeffcoat's charges with 12 points.

Irmo holds off Demons:

 

The loss was the third in as many conference starts for Derek Belton’s squad, which fell to 3-9 overall.

Senior guard Jo Jo Pellegrino led the Demons with a season-high 25 points. Fellow senior Darius Custard was next with 13 points while Eli Burroughs added 10.

Lady Demons upended:

 

The defeat sent Von Duncan's squad to 1-2 in Region 4-4A action.

Aneka Dixon led L-E with 18 points while Caressa Samuel backed that up with 14 as the duo combined for all but nine of their team’s points.

Heathwood sends CMA to second straight loss:

 

CMA head coach Speedy Johnson said he needed only to look 15 feet from the basket to find out where his team’s biggest problem was on this night. It was a six-for-18 performance from the foul line which proved to be the Spartans’ downfall.

"We shoot free throws every day," Johnson said of the woes from this game. "I tell our kids that instead of when they come out to practice and are working on all those all-star moves like they say players do on TV, we need to be shooting free throws. That is going to be our number one priority at the beginning, middle and at the end of our practices.

"As athletic as we are in going to the basket, people are going to foul us. And when they do, we need to be able to make our free throws."

Heathwood Hall (11-3) stunned the Spartans by opening the game on an 11-0 run before Johnson called a time out in order to regroup his players. "I started thinking that if I didn’t call that time out to control this thing, we might not score a point in the first quarter," Johnson said.

CMA (3-3) would close the gap to 16-10 after the first stanza and trailed, 32-22, at halftime. The Spartans used an 18-10 third quarter spurt to close the gap to 42-40 heading into the final quarter.

"After the third quarter," Johnson said, "one of our coaches said to me that he didn’t know if we had enough left for the end of the game because of how hard we played in the third quarter. But I wasn’t worried, I knew that our kids would suck it up and play hard."

The visitors had something left in the tank in the fourth quarter.

Still trailing near the end of the game, the Spartans began fouling the hosts, who helped CMA by missing free throws down the stretch. The last of those came with five seconds left and with the guests having possession of the ball.

The game’s final play went through CMA guard Giovanni Arrindell, whose 3-point try did everything but fall through the net as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

"The first thing I thought when he shot the ball was that we were going to go to overtime," Johnson said. "That ball was going in and then, it popped out."

Johnson said he felt better about his team’s effort following this setback than he did after the loss to Great Falls.

"One thing I found out about my team after this game," he said, "is that we’re not a bad man-to-man, half-court defensive team. We got into the passing lanes and forced turnovers. Our kids were trapping the way you are supposed to trap when you’re playing defense.

"I also like the way we competed in this game. Heathwood Hall is a good basketball team, but we are a better team than Heathwood Hall, there is no doubt in my mind about that."

The Spartans were led by Andrew Holbert’s 15 points and another 14 from Arrindell. John Cornette added eight points to go along with a dozen rebounds. The key to the game was Bobby Gary’s being held to four points.

"Bobby Gary has to play well in order for us to win," Johnson said. "He had four steals and played hard in this game, but for us to be a good basketball team, Bobby has to come to play, night-in and night-out."

Heathwood Hall’s Corey Littlejohn led all scorers with 36 points as CMA tried to stop the other four players on the floor with Littlejohn.

Later, Johnson said he could not find any fault with his team’s effort. He said as much to a Heathwood Hall fan who complimented him on that fact following the contest.

"I’m not upset with the way we played," Johnson said. "In fact, after the game, a Heathwood fan came up to me and said that she had never seen a team play as hard as our kids did. I told her, ‘Ma’am, they have no other choice when they’re playing for me."

One night after having been thumped by class A power Great Falls, the Camden Military Academy basketball team was edged by host Heathwood Hall, 56-53, last week in a game played in Columbia. The Lugoff-Elgin girls fell to Irmo, 58-41.Led by Jordan Roper’s 24 points, Irmo handed visiting Lugoff-Elgin a 77-63 loss in a Region 4-4A contest played Friday night. The Camden girls could not capitalize on a quick start in a 43-28 loss to Crestwood in the Region 6-AAA opener for both sides.

 

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