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Tank runs dry for CHS girls in 45-36 loss

Posted: January 11, 2018 11:54 a.m.
Updated: January 12, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

CAMDEN’S KIASIA HAYES TRIES to pry the basketball loose from the grip of Fairfield Central’s Lakeyn Boyd (5) during second half action from Tuesday’s game inside the Dog Pound.

Nineteen days off between games coupled with one of her team’s top players leaving school Tuesday after becoming ill was hardly the way Camden girls’ basketball coach Natalie Jeffcoat wanted to enter that evening’s Region 4-AAA opener with visiting Fairfield Central.

In spite of those difficulties, the Lady Bulldogs battled back to take a 34-32 lead over their visitors from Winnsboro with 3:40 left to play. Then, in another cruel twist of fate, CHS point guard Tiyana Peterson was tagged with her fifth personal foul. From that point, the Lady Griffins closed a foul-marred final stanza on a 13-2 spree to leave the Michael G. Culp Court with a 45-36 win.

Her team’s effort, Jeffcoat said, was a valiant one but too many sets of obstacles were thrown in Camden’s (6-4, 0-1 in 4-AAA) path. 

In spite of her team playing its first contest since winning the Mid-Carolina Credit Union Holiday Classic on Dec. 20, Jeffcoat was hardly in the mood for dishing out excuses when the question of the long layoff and the absence of freshman Imani Wyatt were brought up.

The time between games, including last Friday’s scheduled pairing with Crestwood which fell victim to the inclement weather, may have led to CHS coming out to a sluggish start in a first quarter in which the hostesses led, 6-5.

There is nothing, Jeffcoat said, like playing in a game or, being in a regular Tuesday-Friday night game routine. The time off seemd to leave Camden out of sync.

“It isn’t the same,” she said of practicing without a game to look forward to playing. “That adrenaline that you get from playing another team is not there. I think that was a factor tonight but we hung in there. It sounds like I’m making excuses but Imani went home sick today and that hurt.

“We still had some chances, though, but when Tiyana fouled out, we lost another ballhandler.”

Peterson, a junior point guard whose 12 points trailed only teammate Venus Sumpter’s 14, was missed down the stretch as FC (6-6, 2-0 in 4-AAA) was able to extend and hike the heat in its full-court defensive pressure down the stretch which paved the way to the victory in a game in which CHS looked dead in the water after the Lady Griffins led, 28-14, with a little less than four minutes to play in the third quarter.

FC was able to exploit its size advantage in the post in the third quarter with eighth-grade forward Deasia Feaster and sophomore center Cristin Gray scoring all their team’s 10 points in the third eight minutes of  play. The six-foot Gray scored the final four from point-blank range in a 6-0 run which was tipped off by Feaster taking a feed just steps away from the bucket and laying home a pair.

A change in its defensive strategy, coupled with five points from Peterson and Sumpter’s banking in an 18-footer before Peterson had a strip seal which went for a layin, led to CHS having closed the gap to 28-21 entering the final stanza.

“We made a little bit of an adjustment and tried to play some better help defense on the back side,” Jeffcoat said of taking the low post from FC. “We also put better pressure on the ball so that they couldn’t see so easily to make that lob pass inside.”

The Camden defensive effort led to FC going dry from the field for seven minutes and 55 seconds or, until a Feaster back with 3:05 to play in the game was part of a closing 13-2 run.

The Lady Bulldogs not only got back into the game but took the lead with a furious rally. 

Whitley Kahler opened what became a 6-0 Camden run with a five-foot floater and hit the accompanying free throw just 24 seconds into the fourth quarter. A Kiasia Hayes putback trimmed the deficit to 28-27 before FC used a pair of free throws to make it 30-27 with 5:11 left.

Sumpter then scored on a short jumper and with 4:32 remaining, after an FC player tried to save the ball from going out of bounds under the Camden basket, Sumpter gathered in the ball and laid home a basket to give the hostesses the 31-30 advantage.

Two free throws gave the lead back to FC, only for Camden to get a Hayes foul shot followed by Peterson’s stealing the inbounds pass which followed the make as the Lady Bulldogs regained the lead at 34-32 at the 3:40 marker of the final quarter.

With Peterson picking up her fifth foul and FC taking advantage of shooting 18 free throws ---- making 10 --- in the closing five minutes and 28 seconds, the Lady Bulldogs were unable to complete what would have been a come-from-behind victory.

“When (Peterson) went out,” Jeffcoat said, “we definitely missed her ball-handling presence and being able to help us settle down. I thought we got a little rattled and didn’t handle their pressure as well as we needed to.”

Camden’s final lead before its late-game run came when Sumpter knocked down a 10-footer from inside the paint for a 10-9 lead with 5:40 to play in an opening half which ended with FC closing with a 9-1 run to carry an 18-11 lead into the locker room at halftime.

An already thin bench due to Wyatt’s illness took another hit when Peterson fouled out in the closing four minutes. That, combined with the Lady Griffins’ relentless pressure on the ball, took its toll on Camden’s collective legs down the stretch.

“Maybe it did,” Jeffcoat said, “but it may have also come from getting down from making mistakes. We might have been a little tired. We were a little short-handed tonight but we were right there. I thought this was one that we could really get.”


FC (45): Tahalia Collier 1 6-7 8, Lakeyn Boyd 2 4-5 8, Zariah Rice 1 0-0 2, Tameshia Woodard 3 5-9 12, Deasia Feaster 3 0-0 6, Cristin Gray 3 3-6 9. Totals: 13 18-27 45

CHS (36): Tiyana Peterson 4 4-8 12, Kenra White 1 1-2 3, Venus Sumpter 7 0-4 14, Kiasia Hayes 1 2-4 4, Whitley Kahler 1 1-1 3. Totals: 14 8-19 36


Score by quarters: First: CHS, 6-5; Halftime: FC, 18-11; Third: FC, 28-21; Three-point goals: FC 1 Woodard, CHS none



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