View Mobile Site

Third quarter surge carries Bulldogs past Knights, 74-50

Posted: November 30, 2017 12:05 p.m.
Updated: December 1, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

NORTH CENTRAL’S MARKELL PORTEE makes his move toward the basket while Camden’s Nyicere Greene (15) sprints down the floor to led defensive help in Wednesday’s season opener on the Michael G. Culp Court at Camden High.

Answering the second half bell like a boxer coming out and looking to deliver a knockout blow, Camden used a 14-3 run to open the third quarter and was finally able to put some breathing room between itself and visiting in-county rival North Central.

After having opened a 17-point --- 46-29 --- third quarter advantage, the AAA hosts went on to a comfortable 74-50 win over the visiting Knights in the season opener for both sides in a Wednesday night game played on the Michael G. Culp Court inside the Dog Pound at Camden High.

With his Bulldogs entering the locker room at halftime holding to a slim 32-26 advantage after NC’s Markell Portee closed the first 16 minutes of action with a 30-plus foot, 3-point bomb at the buzzer, CHS head coach Ron McKie went about addressing some of the things his squad did wrong in the first half against their AA rivals.

“They beat us to a lot of loose balls, they hit the boards and they were more aggressive than we were,” McKie said of the Knights’ play in the first two quarters. “Sometimes, we think that we can come out and just out-shoot a team. I told them, in basketball, you can’t come out and shoot well every night.

“We were four-of-1 2 from the 3-point line in the first half so I told our guys that we had to put the ball on the floor. We’re quick and not big and by doing that, it would open up better shots for us if we drive the lane and kick it out instead of just swinging the ball the whole time.”

Heeding McKie’s advice, the Dogs  came out and used a 3-ball from Cam Jefferson to touch off an 11-0 run. Jefferson, a senior guard who was saddled on the bench after picking up a pair of quick fouls, added a steal and a layin during the three-minute spree which was helped along by a pair of NC turnovers.

A 3-point jumper from senior point guard Devin Martin, who led all scorers with 23 points, extended the CHS lead to 46-29 with 3:20 left in the third.

The Knights rallied, using a putback and a 3-point jumper from freshman Dmitri Robinson and a layin from junior center Tyreek Jenkins whose two free throws capped a 9-0 NC surge which closed the gap to 46-38. The dagger was supplied by CHS sophomore guard Kasean Crews, who buried a 3-ball with just more than a minute left which closed the scoring in a third quarter in which the hosts went on top by double digits at 49-38.

Second-year NC head coach and former Camden High football and basketball standout Kerry Hayes said this game was decided by the Camden’s aggressiveness in the third quarter.

“We came out flat and we didn’t match their intensity,” he said. “They came out and hit a few threes and we could never catch back up to them.”

With a 15-player roster, McKie said he has the numbers to press people; something the Bulldogs will do more of this season given their lack of height. The Dogs do not list a player at taller than 6-foot-2 on their roster.

“We tried to press them in the first half,” he said, “but we just didn’t do a good job of it. We have to work on that because we are going to have to press people this year.”

The hosts relied on their match-up zone defensive scheme which caused the Knights’ problems before Hayes and his staff made adjustments to the way they attacked the set.

“If we rotate the way we should on offense, we can be effective against it,” Hayes said. “We weren’t moving tonight. It was our first game and our guys looked like they were winded. We have some work to do.”

The Knights were forced to play catch-up from the opening tip as the 5-foot-8 Martin started the game by rattling home a pair of 3-point shots which sandwiched an eight-foot jumper from the left hand side of the basket to give the Dogs an 8-0 advantage just 80 seconds into the contest. Martin later stuck a 10-footer to make it 13-7 in a first quarter which ended with CHS holding to a 15-9 lead.

Martin’s 23 points were his career high and included his knocking down five shots from distance.

“Devin has been on the varsity for four years and it’s like shooting in the backyard for him,” McKie said. “He’s shot in this gym about a million times. He should be able to close his eyes and make shots because he has played so much here.

“I told him, ‘You’re a senior. You have to knock down shots and play big.’ He did and had a big game tonight.”

The Knights closed to within four points twice in the middle of the second quarter. The second time came when Jenkins went inside for a five-foot jumper to make it 21-17 with 4:40 to play before intermission. Camden countered with Malik Green going inside for a stickback and then adding a short jumper to hike the lead to 27-19.

A trey from Donovan Belton, who had 15 points, put the Dogs on top, 32-23. That lead was trimmed by three thanks to Portee’s bomb which left his hands a tick before the horn sounded to close a first half in which the Knights were forced to play from behind from the get-go.

“We did settle down a little bit,” Hayes said. “Our guys saw how intense Camden was. The game slowed down for us after that first run and we got back in it and we were close at halftime. We just have some work to do and we have to go back to the drawing board.”

After Camden’s 17-12 run in the third quarter, NC narrowed the gap to single figures when Jenkins, who led the Knights with 12 points, opened the fourth quarter with a short jumper from inside the paint area to make it 49-40.

The Dogs would put this one out of reach with an 11-1 rally which transformed a 55-44 game into a 66-45 cushion in the matter of less than two minutes. Jefferson played a leading role in the surge, scoring six points with the final three coming on a trey with three minutes left in the contest.

In spite of the final 24-point spread, Hayes said this was a game which his team will learn from and build on for the rest of the season. The fact that the Knights do not play again until traveling to Lugoff-Elgin next Tuesday is also a help in that it allows more practice time between games one and two.

“We hustled and we took charges but we didn’t pass the ball the way we need to pass the ball. We had a lot of turnovers tonight. We have to eliminate the turnovers and continue getting back on defense,” he said of his opening night impressions.

“This game will help us a lot. We told our guys the whole time in practice that it was all about pressure defense and that Camden pressures you the whole time. Hopefully, this will help us when we play other teams.”

McKie, whose troops host rival Lugoff-Elgin tonight inside the Dog Pound, said the Bulldogs are far from a finished product. He also said he was impressed and worried by the size and athleticism which North Central brings to the table.

“North Central kept it close,” he said. “Sometimes, you get tight when you are playing at home and you are favored a little bit and, I think we were favored a little bit because we’re a bigger school than North Central and because we have a lot of players back.

“I told our guys just because we have a lot of players back, don’t take them lightly because North Central has a good bunch of athletes.”


NC (50): Tyreek Jenkins 5 2-2 12, Jamel Jones 2 2-3 6, Avante’ Reynolds 5 0-0 10, Dmitri Robinson 4 0-5 9, Esteban Rodriguez 0 0-2 0, Markell Portee 4 0-0 10, Tyler Faulkenberry 1 0-0 2, Nick James 0 1-2 1. Totals: 21 5-14 50

CHS (74): Devin Martin 9 0-0 23, Donovan Belton 5 4-5 15, Jericho Murphy 1 0-0 2, Jalen Dubose 2 0-0 4, Malik Green 3 0-2 6, Cam Jefferson 5 1-2 13, Trajon Pate 1 0-0 2, Kasean Crews 2 0-0 6, Javeon Brisbon 1 0-0 2, Chris Butler 0 1-2 1. Totals: 29 6-11 74


Score by quarters: First: CHS, 15-9; Halftime: CHS, 32-26; Third: CHS, 49-38; Three-point goals: NC 3 (Portee 2, Robinson), CHS 10 (Martin 5, Jefferson 2, Crews 2, Belton)


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

Contents of this site are © Copyright 2018 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...