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Prince Ave. Prep runs past Spartans

Posted: February 17, 2011 12:28 p.m.
Updated: February 18, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Ever since he started coaching basketball, Speedy Johnson’s teams have been known for their full-court defensive pressure, which is used to try and turn opponents over and quicken the tempo of the game.

Sometimes, though, Johnson knows when he has met his match.

Tuesday night, in a 78-62 loss to visiting Prince Avenue Prep, Johnson’s Camden Military Academy squad had no choice but to reign in the full-court pressure and play a more conventional type of game.

"A lot of teams, you can press," Johnson said, "but (PAP) is co disciplined against it that you can’t press them. They can do a lot of things when they have the ball. They just run their offense so well."

Johnson said his team, which fell to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in CAA play, played good defense for the first half of the game before the Spartans cut the deficit to six points in the third quarter. "The game just got away from us in the fourth quarter," he said.

Johnson also played short-handed at times on Tuesday due to discipline problems with his own team. "We got those taken care of," he said.

Andrew Holbert led the Spartans with 26 points on a 10-for-11 night from the field. He also pulled down nine rebounds. Stephen Thomas was next with 14 points in a game in which he went 6-for-6 from the foul line and 4-for-6 from the field.

"Stephen Thomas was probably our worst free throw shooter at the start of the season," Johnson said. "But he has worked hard at that part of his game. I think that he just got tired of hearing me talking to him about free throws."

Bobby Gary of Lugoff rounded out CMA’s double-digit scorers with 12 points.

One player who has been among the Spartans’ top scorers and rebounders throughout the first 17 games has been John Cornett. On Tuesday, he was held scoreless while pulling down just one rebound. That, Johnson said, is unacceptable.

"When you’re six-foot-five," said the CMA head coach, "you ought to be able to get more than one rebound. John was in my dog house (Tuesday) night. He’ll probably stay there for awhile, too.

"There are a lot of things that I’m not going to put up with and not giving a total effort is one of those. Until he learns that, he is going to stay (in the dog house.)"

After a Thursday night trip to play the Easley Christian Academy, the Spartans will have two more games left in the regular season and they will both be at home. Next Tuesday, the Providence Athletic Club comes to the White Field House for a 6:30 p.m. Two nights later, the Academy of Excellence comes in for a 7 p.m. Senior Night contest. Johnson said the building should be alive with the entire corps of cadets coming out to cheer on their colleagues.

"We’ve had a good year up to this point. Now, we want to finish strong," Johnson said. "We just need to go out and play smart basketball."

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