By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
LYNN CAMP — The Lynn Camp Wildcats needed a win.
Eric Swords' squad responded to that particular need with a 68-56 win on its home court against Berea.
It was the Wildcats' first win since Dec. 30 and the victory celebration carried on throughout the locker room following the win.
Eric Swords commented on his team's effort following the contest.
“At halftime, we told them to either go to the boards or get back one,” Swords said. “That way we could get some extra rebounds or get our offense set.”
Swords' halftime speech may have been the inspiration Lynn Camp needed to overcome a seven point deficit at the break. The Wildcats trailed throughout the first quarter and the entire first half as the Pirates dominated the glass and troubled Lynn Camp with its zone defense.
The Pirates went to Dustin Kates throughout the first half who helped lead the Pirate offense, along with Jarrel Tevis. Both players connected on a three-point basket in the first half and Berea continued to score off several second opportunity field goals.
The Berea lead grew to 30-18 during the second quarter. Lynn Camp stayed close as the Wildcats found Austin Allen, who scored against the zone underneath and Bruce Hopkins connected on a three-point basket. Skylar McFarland led a small rally for the Wildcats to close out the second period with a three-point basket, while Jensen Hollin sank two free throws to cut the lead to 32-25 at halftime.
The Wildcat full court press resulted in several turnovers to begin the third quarter. McFarland was instrumental in creating several Pirate miscues and penetrated straight to the goal on several attempts to help lead Lynn Camp back from the deficit.
The offensive surge continued throughout the quarter. McFarland tied the score at 38 when Justin Hammonds' basket gave the Wildcats its first lead of the game off a Berea turnover. The Wildcats appeared more relaxed against the Berea zone as Hopkins and Hammonds each connected from three-point territory to help guide their team to a five point lead, 47-42 at the end of the third quarter.
Turnovers continued to plague the Pirates and Lynn Camp went to work on the boards on both ends. Hammonds continued to wreak havoc on the Berea's attempt to break the Wildcat full court pressure. Hammonds scored two consecutive baskets off turnovers to stretch the lead to 51-42.
Berea simply could not overcome second half turnovers which allowed the Wildcats to preserve its fourth win of the year. Eric Swords commented on the energy level of Justin Hammonds who finished with 25 points on the evening.
“Justin Hammonds' energy was huge,” Swords said. “Not just making plays, but keeping the bench and the crowd into it and I think we just fed off that and kept going, he added.”
Lynn Camp 68, Berea 56
Berea 17 15 10 14 – 56
Lynn Camp 10 15 22 21 – 68
Berea (56) – Terrill 18, Kates 16, Tevis 11, Alexander 7, Atkins 2, Shearer 2.
Lynn Camp (68) – Hammonds 25, Hopkins 13, Allen 10, Taylor 7, Withrow 6, Elliott 3, Weddle 2, Hollin 2.