Saturday, January 15, 2005
By Vincent Lewis
No disrespect to the junior varsity teams, but the gymnasium at Camden High School was packed with fans arriving early knowing that showing up late would risk not seeing this competitive game against two excellent boy's basketball teams. The Tigers from Woodrow Wilson arrived at the High and were not intimidated with the success the Panthers were having and were ahead late in this game between the neighboring schools. Camden would regain the lead by one with less than half a minute remaining and managed to seal the victory with big time free throws by Kevin Payton. The Panthers remain undefeated with their 72-65 winning their seventh game in a row.
If you were able to get a seat inside Camden’s gymnasium on Saturday, you were not disappointed no matter which team you were routing for. The Tigers had the momentum early in this game pushing their lead during the first quarter to as much as four points only to see their opponent find a way to come back. During this game, James Pollard was the emotional leader battling the boards for Wilson especially when both Semaj and James Inge found themselves in foul trouble.
Wilson would lead by a basket after the first quarter ended only to see the game tied yet again at 22 apiece in the second with 7:09 remaining until intermission. But what was important at that moment was that the Panthers were in the bonus for the rest of the quarter but could not take advantage from the free throw line. Missing over half of those shots from the foul shot line didn’t hurt them too much as Camden would lead at halftime by a 39-37 margin.
Both teams were a little more patient with their shots during the second half and it showed as the free throws began to fall. With the game tied at 54 to start the final quarter, Wilson opened a small lead 59-54 with 5:27 remaining in the game. That’s when Camden went on a 14-6 run to lead by three with 19.7 showing on the game clock. Payton was the player sealing the game from the line when it counted and Wilson would not get a chance to show off their ability to nail the three pointer. Six free throws and key turnovers by the Tigers was the turning point for Camden’s victory. Teron Murray finished with a game high 22 points, Kevin Payton added 19 and Jamar Colon chipped in 18 for Camden. Asa Houston and Mike Williams led Woodrow Wilson with a team high 17 points and James Inge added 14 points.