The Camels defeated the Pendleton County Wildcats on Monday evening 81-67 and earned a spot in the finals of the 10th Region tournament for the 2nd year in a row. In a humid Mason County Fieldhouse, the Camels played with heart, grit and sheer determination in an exhausting game against their US27 rival.
The Camels and Wildcats played an even first quarter in front of a rowdy crowd as Blake Losey scored 6 of his team high 18 points in the quarter. The Wildcats kept pace finding open looks inside as the Camels were determined not to give up the long ball. At the end of one, the Camels led 12-11.
The Camels opened the 2nd quarter with six consecutive free throws with two each by Craig Neltner, Jordan Day, and Cole Hegyi. A layup by Matt Wilson made the score 20-13, and it looked as though the Camels were on a roll. Consecutive baskets by Trent McGovney and a trey by Deondre Jackson gave the Camels their biggest lead of the game at 30-22. However, the Wildcats answered with a layup and a long three of their own to go along with a free throw to cut the Camel lead back to four points at 32-28. A Jordan Day rebound and stick back at the buzzer put the Camels in front 34-28 at the half.
The Camels scored the first 5 points to open the second half and push their lead to 39-28. Pendleton did their best to stay with the Camels by hitting several three pointers, but midway through the 3rd, Blake Losey went on a tear scoring 8 straight points as the Camels stretched their lead to 16.
The Camels took a 58-41 cushion into the final quarter and it looked as though they would cruise into the finals. However, the scrappy Wildcats were not done. Pendleton County continued to hit timely threes to stay within reach and turned several Camel turnovers into easy baskets. The 4th quarter lasted an eternity as the pressing Pendleton County defense sent a parade of Camels to the free throw line. The Camels did struggle a bit from the charity stripe which enabled the Wildcats to cut the margin to ten, but the Camels would allow them to get no closer.
The Camels were led by Blake Losey with 18 points on 8-11 shooting and 4 steals. While Blake had a great offensive night, it was his stifling defense that helped lead the Camels. Big man, Matt Wilson was a force once again with another double double with 13 points, 12 boards, and 2 monster blocks. Deondre Jackson added 12 points and 4 assists, and Jordan Day also added 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Trent McGovney scored 9 points and only had 1 turnover against the Wildcats pressing defense. Cole Hegyi added 7 points and 7 rebounds. Jake Franzen added 6 points and took several charges in his typical hard nosed game while Craig Neltner was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line and gave the Camels solid minutes inside.
Once again a total team effort with each player doing what it takes to get it done. Congratulations to all of the players, and a great job by the coaching staff to get back to the championship game.
The Camels will take on the Scott Eagles at 7:00pm with a ticket to Rupp Arena on the line in a rematch of last weeks 37th District championship game. We hope to see a LARGE AND ROWDY student section along with the rest of the Camel community come out to support the boys.
GOOD LUCK CAMELS !!!
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