By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
After coming off a three-win season last year, Lynn Camp coach Clyde Dixon decided to tinker with his team’s schedule to help give his players some confidence and momentum along with the chance of getting some more wins under their belts
The plan worked.
The Wildcats own a five-game win streak and garner the fifth most wins in the 13th Region with 14. Lynn Camp started the season with a 1-3 mark, but recovered by going 13-8 since.
“It’s not like we’re Oak Hill to begin with,” Dixon said. “We knew we needed to build some confidence in our players, so I tried to put together a schedule that would give us a chance to build some success and it has helped a lot.
“We’re doing pretty good right now,” he added. “I said before the season began if we didn’t get at least 15 wins, I would be really disappointed and right now, we’ve got 14, so I’m happy with where we are. We could and should have had three or four more wins, but we let some games slip away. I thought we had a couple of games down in Monticello we should have won and I feel like we should have won the Whitley County game in the Bowman (Memorial Classic).”
According to Dixon, one of the main reasons the Wildcats have been successful the past couple of weeks is the play of everyone on the team.
Senior Zach Smith has been a mainstay this season by averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds a game while Skylar McFarland (11.8 points per game) and Justin Hammonds (10.7) aren’t far behind.
But the Wildcats aren’t a three-man show. Austin Maier recently poured in a career-best 27-point effort while Matthew Trosper has recorded two triple-doubles during the past two weeks.
“We’ve got a lot of players contributing and that’s what is making us have the success the past two weeks,” Dixon said. “We’ve got Zach Smith, who is probably one of the underrated players in the region, coming out of nowhere and having a great year for us. I’ve not had anyone work as hard and has changed as much as Zach. He wasn’t even getting much playing time last season.
“These guys are playing as a team and they see that it has brought us some success,” he added. “I’m really pleased with what we have done so far.”
Looking down the road though, Dixon knows what lies ahead will be a challenge for his team — another matchup with Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers.
Lynn Camp has dropped seven straight games to Barbourville with the Wildcats’ last win (an 86-80 victory over the tigers on the road) coming on Jan. 11, 2008.
“We know we’ve got to play Barbourville again in the district tournament,” he said.
The two teams have already played each other twice this season with the Tigers coming away with 80-50 and 76-37 victories.
“If you look at our scores against them, you’d probably think we don’t have a chance, but I do,” Dixon said. “It’s hard to beat a team three times and we understand it’s going to be tough, but I feel like we’ve got a shot.”
Lynn Camp peaking at the right time with current five-game win streak
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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