Late Camels Rally Falls Short
For one night each January the streets, restaurants, and shops in Alexandria are empty and quiet as basketball fans, students, and parents pack the Campbell County Middle School gym for the annual Crosstown Shootout. This year was no exception as a packed house watched a late comeback bid by the Camels fall short in a 47-45 loss to rival Bishop Brossart.
The Camels, coming off of a big win at Mason County on Tuesday, were looking to continue their winning ways in the Crosstown Shootout over the Mustangs. However, the Mustangs were up to the task, holding off the Camels and surviving a 3 point attempt in the final seconds to claim the win. The Camels ran into trouble early in the game as Matt Wilson and Cole Hegyi each picked up 2 quick fouls sending them to the bench for part of the 1st and 2nd quarters. The Mustangs took advantage and led after the first quarter 11-10. The Mustangs looked to build on their lead in the 2nd period with the Camels in a bit of foul trouble, but the Camels managed to keep it close. The Mustangs outscored the Camels 14-10 to lead 25-20 at the intermission.
In the 3rd, the Mustangs were able to push the lead out to 8 points as both teams picked up their intensity. The Camels, who struggled to get the ball into their big man most of the game, were able to cut the Mustang lead to 5 at 35-30 going into the 4th period.
True to Crosstown Shootout fashion the last quarter proved to be a wild one. The Mustangs built their lead to 10 at 40-30 with under 6 minutes to play, and it looked as though the Stangs were headed to an easy win. However, as the Mustangs went into stall mode to burn the clock, the Camels turned it up on defense pressuring the ball all over the court. The Camels were able to force the Mustangs into turnovers, and Cole Hegyi came alive scoring 8 of his 14 points in the final period. Even the referees got caught up in the madness mistaking the volleyball markings on the court for the out of bounds line on several occasions. The Camels slowly whittled the deficit, and late in the game, had chances to take the lead. However missed opportunities at the free throw line once again haunted the Camels. The Mustangs, who could have put the game on ice, also missed free throws late keeping the Camels in it. Down 47-45, the Camels had the ball for one final possession. After working the clock down to 5 seconds, Garren Bertsch found himself open on the wing for a game winning 3. The shot was on target but a little long bouncing off the back iron and into the hands of a Mustang as time expired.
The Camels were led in scoring by Cole Hegyi with 14 points followed by Matt Wilson with 11. Garren Bertsch chipped in 9 for the Camels. The Camels did prevail in the freshman and JV contests as well as the Crosstown “Foodout” which donated over 7,000 pounds of food to the Care Mission in Alexandria. The Camels get a quick night’s sleep and will travel to Newport High School on Saturday afternoon to take part in the John Turner Classic. The Camels will play Newport Central Catholic at 6:00pm.