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Spartans bounce back to stomp Providence

Posted: January 25, 2011 10:24 a.m.
Updated: January 26, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Playing for the first time in 12 days, the Camden Military Academy basketball team lost a 73-68 overtime heartbreaker against Heathwood Hall in a game played in Columbia on Wednesday night.

The loss gave the Spartans a 4-4 record. In sweeping their season series with CMA, the Highlanders improved to 15-4 on the year.

Heathwood Hall led, 13-7, after the first quarter of play and never relinquished the lead throughout the 32 minutes of regulation play.

The visiting Spartans took the lead for the first time in the game in overtimes, when they led by one point with HH’s Corey Littlejohn at the free throw line shooting a one and the bonus. Littlejohn missed the shot, which the hosts rebounded and put back to take the lead for keeps to pave the way to the five-point victory in a game in which CMA only pulled down 14 rebounds.

Andrew Holbert led CMA with 20 points, followed by Giovanni Arrindell with 16 and John Cornett’s 11. Bobby Gary and Juwan Rorie added eight points each.

The Highlanders’ Littlejohn led all scorers with 31, which was backed by 26 more from teammate Joseph James.

Two nights later, CMA returned home to the White Field House and blitzed the visiting Providence Athletic Club, 68-38.

“We reached one of our team goals by holding Providence below 50 points,” said CMA head coach Speedy Johnson. “For that, every one of our players got a defensive sticker for their war board.”

This game did not go off without a hitch, however, as Johnson had to dole out some pre-game disciplinary action.

“The only thing that upset me was that the game started at 6:30 and our starters didn’t show up to the gym until around 5:45,” he said. “You can guess where they started the game from. They were right next to me on the bench.”

That was not the only thing which concerned Johnson on Friday as sophomore guard Bobby Gary, from Lugoff, sustained an ankle injury during the contest. Johnson said he feared the worst as he waited for Gary to return from a doctor’s appointment on Monday.

“We’re probably going to lose Bobby for the rest of the year,” Johnson said. “If we end up losing Bobby, that is going to be a big blow for us.”

CMA, which shot 35 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line in the victory, also corralled 41 rebounds, including 13 on the offensive end.

Arrindell led the 5-4 winners with 22 points to go along with six rebounds, six steal and five assists. Holbert was next with 17 points, six rebounds and four blocks while Rorie added 10 points to go along with five assists. Cornett had a big night on the boards, collecting 13 caroms with five blocks and five points.

“We have to get better and we will work hard to get better,” Johnson said. “We just need to shore some stuff up on defense.”

The Spartans host games on Thursday and Friday with Orangeburg Prep and Prince Avenue Prep coming to town on successive nights for 6:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. games, respectively.

“Prince Avenue Prep is our rival,” Johnson said of Friday’s pairing. “If we don’t get excited about playing them, then we don’t have a heart beat.”

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