Wildcats Survive Pesky Sabres

Randy Campbell (Washington)



by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

(Caution: I don’t have time to proof read so this post is 100% off the top of the dome)

Poor weather created a need to reschedule some games and this resulted in a rare Big Monday type matchup in the KCAL.  The Washington Wildcats traveled to Sumner Academy for a matchup of league rivals.  Demarco Smith and Randy Campbell looked to get a win against DiCarlo Jackson and crew who were a bit short handed.

Note: Despite a lot of drama I heard about in the KCAL on the boys and girls side I am going to focus only on the game and the players in it.

Washington came out guns blazing in the first few minutes of the first quarter.  They raced out 6-0 and 12-4 to extend the run.  The Sabres were shooting blanks from outside and Washington was getting to the rim.  Early fouls got into Sumner’s bench which may have been a good thing for the Sabres.  Reggie Coleman came in to stem the tide for the Sabres.  Knocking down a couple of threes.  This sparked the Sabres to take a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

This is where our first star of the night really asserted himself.  Junior Randy Campbell of Washington went to work on the glass and finishing around the rim.  He has that rare ability to get off the ground multiple times which makes offensive rebounding seem effortless.  Numerous times he just got the ball up on the rim and followed up with an offensive rebound and put back.  Jackson in the second quarter got into deep foul trouble and the Wildcats were like sharks in bloody water building a 33-24 lead at the half.

The third quarter started off horribly for Sumner Academy.  I have to admit that I didn’t see or notice the 4th foul call on Jackson.  The not so funny thing about it is either Coach Moses Wyatt also missed the 4th foul or decided to let his junior figure it out.  Either way a few minutes into the 3rd quarter DiCarlo Jackson was fouled out of the game.  Sumner Academy through the second quarter and into the 3rd were chucking up 3 after 3.  This is the second game now that I have watched and bottom line the wrong people are shooting high volumes of shots.  Coleman who started out hot had cooled off and the Wildcats looked primed to blow the game open.

Queue the comeback music and sophomore Alan Watson who is searching for his role on the team.  With junior leader out of the game and struggling team mates shooting the ball the young man just went off. 

Alan Watson (Sumner Academy)
I will pause a second here to say that I am a size bigot.  I am very reluctant to give the little guy their just due.  I did the same thing with JJ Letcher through out the football season and in the back of my head thought the same thing about Watson.  I consider his dad a good friend and I followed his brother BJ Watson at Bonner Springs and in these situations I am guarded with praise for family and friends.  Alan as an 8th grader showed up to one of our All Star game practices.  We usually run a bit short at practice and Alan jumped at the chance to scrimmage with some of the best in the city.  Not only did he hold his own but he showed then what he did last night and that was an ability to make plays and shots to lead a team.
On one of the biggest stages a young player can be on in the city Watson threw caution to the wind and started weaving his way through the Wildcat defense.  Working the pick and roll to get to the rim to finish on occasion and setup his team mates for open shots.  He had a couple of heat check moments in the 3rd and 4th quarter but was dazzling the crowd with his moves.  Just like that a sophomore was going toe to toe, back and forth with one of the top guards in KCAL and SHUKC history in Demarco Smith.  Watson carved up the Wildcats to tie the game at 44 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Demarco Smith and Randy Campbell went to work in the fourth quarter and despite the best efforts of Watson were too much.  The game was tight through out the quarter but Sumner Academy simply could not get their free throws down and definitely not 3 pointers.  One shot flew over the side back board.  Sumner despite some effort from Washington to keep Sumner in the game simply couldn’t get it done.  The Wildcats held on to earn a 62-58 win at Sumner.
Notes:
Demarco Smith was very good last night.  There are some plays that he is trying to make passing the ball that his young team mates just aren’t ready for a lot of times.  So the turnovers were likely high in this game.  Still a struggle from the field but he was lightning fast and rebounded the ball well.  Clutch at the free throw line as well down the stretch.  I don’t know why on earth he was not the sole handler of the ball with a minute left in the game but that is a different topic all together.
Watson was very good last night but still plenty of mental errors as you would expect from a sophomore.  That 3rd quarter was far and away the best I have seen Sumner Academy play in the 2 games I have watched and it may be time to let him loose.  Take the thinking out of the game and let him play to see what you have.  The Wildcats were chasing a rabbit who wasn’t interested in being caught.
Great crowd last night.  Packed gym on a Monday night.  I don’t know if it is feasible but I like stand alone games like this. 
Sumner had the heat blazing last night.  That gym felt like we were playing during the summer with no air.
The Sumner Academy girls won big over the Lady Wildcats.  Not really a hell of a lot to say about those types of games. 

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