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Bracket Busters
Fourth-seed Dogs take wind out of Cyclones
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CAMDENS DELTON BRADFORD MUSCLES his way inside of Chesters John Gore for two of his career-best 25 points in the Bulldogs 71-69 first round AAA state playoff win over the Cyclones on Thursday. - photo by C-I photo by Tom Didato
CHESTER -- Time to add some new names to the old marquee.For the better portion of the second half of the Region 4-AAA season, the Camden basketball team has been headlined by Josh Sumter ... with a little help from his friends.When Chester decided to make somebody else from Camden beat them in Thursday’s AAA Upper State playoff opener, Bulldog seniors Delton Bradford and Alexx Cooke started hogging up some of the spotlight.Receiving a career-best 25 points from Bradford and 10 fourth quarter points from Cooke, the fourth seed Bulldogs overcame a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to knock off the Region 3 champions, 71-69.Camden headed to Greenville High on Saturday to take on a third seed Red Raider squad, which defeated second-seeded Seneca Thursday night, 57-51.Following a warm bus ride and a game played inside an even hotter Chester gym, Camden head coach Ron McKie admitted to almost being overcome by the combination of the heat, excitement and tension of a frantic final minute of a game in which his team took the lead for keeps with 60 seconds left when Cooke lofted a left-handed bank shot from five feet out to give the guests the lead for keeps at 67-65.“I got light-headed a few times at the end jumping up a down,” said a red-faced McKie moments after the emotional victory. “It’s a good thing my son, (assistant coach Ron McKie Jr.) pulled me back down and gave me some water.”Camden’s comeback would not be complete until after a Sumpter free throw with 4.9 seconds left was followed by a desperation 25-foot heave from Chester’s Jarrett Rembert badly missed its target. Just seven minutes earlier, it appeared as if Camden’s season might be coming to an end as the eighth-ranked Cyclones stretched their lead to a game-high 12 points after Tommy Sanders opened the fourth quarter with a drive through the paint for two followed by a 3-point basket to put the hosts on top, 60-48 with 7:11 left.