New year, same result for Camels

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CAMPBELL -- Naylor started 2015 just like it ended 2014. With a tough loss to Campbell.

This time around, the Eagles played short two starters in the first half and a late second-quarter run by Campbell was pretty much the game.

The Camels won by 12 points the last time in the Senath-Hornersville Christmas Tournament consolation final Dec. 18 and earned a 65-55 Monday night over the Eagles.

Naylor (3-5) was without key contributors on offense in Teddy Graham and Mikey Cook who sat out the first half for a violation of team rules.

"We put ourselves in a big hole," Naylor coach Jerry Rich said. "They are two of our main players. Eventually they'll learn the team rules."

The missing duo was apparent to the Camels (7-5) who took control by halftime and held off Naylor at full strength in the second half.

"They had to sit a couple kids in the first half," Campbell coach Joey Kerperien said. "It would have been a different ballgame. It seemed like we played just enough. We had spurts where we really could have got after it and broke it open and we just never did do it."

Both teams struggled tremendously finishing around the bucket early. Campbell was 4-for-19 in the first quarter while Naylor also made four shots but on three less attempts.

The Camels led 11-8 to start the second quarter. Naylor sophomore Jacob Rich's field goal with 6:56 to play in the quarter was the only shot they made for the first 4 1/2 minutes.

The Camels got going and created separation with a 13-4 run to close out the half and lead 32-17.

Campbell sophomore Tommy Steward had six points during the run.

"For a little spurt there, we had a little extra pep in our step and instead of deflections, they were steals," Kerperien said of his team's press. "We turned turnovers into points and that's definitely when we look our best."

Coach Rich also felt like Campbell's pressure was what helped it pull away.

"We have to learn to take care of the ball better," Coach Rich said. "Their pressure hurt us a little bit. If we keep our head up and hit the open man, it's no big deal."

With Graham and Cook back in the game in the second half, the Eagles outscored Campbell, 38-33, but couldn't get any closer than a 7-point deficit.

The Camels went to their bench in the third quarter and had five sophomores on the floor at one point.

"Part of us was motivation a little bit," Kerperien said. "Part of it was we had a few guys get hit pretty hard and complaining about some bangs and bumps. They weren't 100 percent and I was just trying to look for a little bit of a spark. They came in and did a good job."

Naylor, typically a strong 3-point shooting team, had just two coming from Freddy Emmons and Dalton McElhaney in the fourth quarter. Naylor shot 34 percent (21-for-62) from the floor.

"With our two 3-point shooters sitting out the first half, that hurt us," Coach Rich said. "We're trying to look more inside and go inside out and take 3s when they are available instead of just being a 3-point shooting team."

In just one half of work, Graham finished with 10 points while Cook had five points and nine rebounds.

Jacob Rich led with 17 points to go along with 13 boards for the double-double.

McElhaney (10 points) and Joplin (five points) both started in place of Graham and Cook after recently joining the team before Christmas.

"They got their practices in," Coach Rich said. "I put them in the starting lineup tonight. I thought they played well and played hard."

Campbell shot 39 percent (24-for-62) with Dakota Adams leading with 16 points. He also led the Camels with 20 points the last time they met Naylor.

Riley Peters scored 16 points, Tommy Steward had 11 and Dylan Adams had 10.

Kerperien was proud of his team for being able to keep the lead in the second half. The Camels beat Neelyville in overtime this past Friday.

"It seems like we are in close games every night here lately," he said. "It would be nice to get a comfortable lead and rest and relax a little bit."

Close games will help the Camels down the stretch of this season.

"Hopefully that will benefit us later on when we do get into conference play," Kerperien said. "We are going to meet some of the better teams in the area in districts and the conference. It's going be tight. We're not going to come in and blow everybody out. We're not a high-scoring offense."

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