Campbell County Takes 10th Region Boys Title
Coming into the season, Campbell County was the overwhelming favorite to repeat as regional champion and represent the 10th Region at Rupp Arena in late March. Their standing as the best team in the region was challenged at times throughout the season, especially during a stretch of three consecutive losses to start the 2015 calendar year, one of which was a double-digit loss to 10th Region foe Mason County.
Once the Camels got healthy and fully committed themselves on the defensive end, however, they left no doubt as to who the best team in the 10th Region is. Campbell County capped off an impressive local postseason in which their average margin of victory was 27 points per game with a convincing 89-57 win over Scott High School in the 10th Region Championship.
The Camels jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, but Scott cut the lead to 20-18 by the end of the first quarter behind nine early points by sophomore guard Jake Ohmer.
Campbell County dominated the second quarter, however, outscoring the Eagles 24-8 along the way. Much like Campbell County’s semifinal game against Pendleton County, several Camels starters were saddled with early foul trouble but their reserves checked in and provided an immediate spark.
The Camels built a double-digit lead thanks to an 8-0 run to start the second quarter, extending their lead to 28-18. Sophomore guard Deondre Jackson scored six of his team’s eight points during their run. Scott cut the lead to seven a few possessions later, but that was as close as they would come for the remainder of the game.
The Camels finished the second quarter in the same manner in which they started it, using a 14-3 run to lead Scott 44-26 at the halftime break. Campbell County shot 53% from the field in the first half, and a blistering 56% for the game. They also out-rebounded the undersized Eagles by 15.
Campbell County continued to physically overmatch Scott in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 21-12 in the third quarter and 24-19 in the fourth for a final score of 89-57.
“No doubt that we’re playing our best basketball right now,” said Campbell County head coach Aric Russell. “We’re sharing the basketball really well, rebounding the ball, doing what we need to do defensively, and all eight [players] that I play know their role. We work to peak at the right time, and we’re doing it again this year.”
Campbell County junior forward Matt Wilson led all scorers with 21 points on 8-9 shooting and also pulled down 14 rebounds on the night. Senior guard Deondre Jackson contributed 21 points on 8-12 shooting, and fellow senior guard Blake Losey also chipped in 16 points.
Losey battled through a hip injury sustained in the regional semifinals to score several timely baskets for the Camels, including eight points during their big second quarter. Losey was Campbell County’s leading scorer in the 10th Region tournament, averaging 17.3 points per game on 56% shooting from the field.
“My hip bothered me a little bit a little in the first half, but once I hit that first three in the second quarter, adrenaline took over and I didn’t really feel it,” said Losey after the game.
Campbell County’s reserves once again played an integral role in the game’s outcome, as they collectively scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
“Our three subs played big minutes for us during this tournament. I always tell them that we get better when they come into the game,” said Aric Russell, on his team’s bench play.
Jake Ohmer led the Eagles offensively with 20 points on 8-17 shooting. He was joined in double-figures by senior guard Blake Schneider who scored 10.
With the win, Campbell County improves its season record to 25-9. The loss drops Scott High School’s final season record to 18-14.
Campbell County advances to the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys Sweet 16 Tournament in Lexington, where they will take on 9th Region champion Covington Catholic next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Rupp Arena.
- Story and photo by Alex Valentine, RCN contributor