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Cougars play in Smyrna tourney

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By Dwane Wilder

Barry Jones, the boy’s basketball coach at Campbell County High School, saw the best and the worst in his team last week during the Smyrna Christmas Tournament.
The Cougars lost two of the three games they played, but could have easily gone unbeaten with a little more luck and effort.Jones had to coach against his old team when Campbell County opened the tournament against Sycamore. The Cougars fell, 77-65. Junior forward Nick Litton led Campbell County with 15 points, while Lucas Nelson had 13 and Jordan Kindred 11.
“Sycamore played like a championship contender,” said Jones.
“They shared the ball, helped each other on defense and played quickly without being in a hurry. We played like a team that was still on Christmas break. We were slow with a capital S. It was our worst effort of the year.”
The Cougars quickly bounced back with a 53-49 victory over Page.
Sophomore guard Corey Poteet gunned in 17 points for Campbell County, while Nelson chipped in 14 points.
“Another slow game, but we finally finished a close game,” said Jones.
“Corey absolutely bailed us out with some key offensive rebounds and putbacks and a couple jumpers. He was clutch under pressure, and we needed it.”
The Cougars ended the tournament with a narrow 74-72 loss to Clarksville Northwest, whose star player — Andre Brown — scorched the nets with 40 points, including the game winner with 1.5 seconds left. Litton led Campbell County with 23 points, followed by Poteet with 17 and Kindred 13.
“Too much Andre Brown,” said Jones.
“Their coach told me he’s being recruited by Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and several other SEC schools. We got a big-picture view of his game, that’s for sure. He was phenomenal. He posted, faced the basket and created, shot over the top from deep and hit his free throws. He has the whole repertoire.
“Too bad, because our kids really played our best game during the tournament. We played fast and together. I was hoping for OT because our kids were getting stronger at the end, while Northwest seemed to be hanging on.
“We both got final possessions with a chance to win it. Bottom line, their go-to guy did what go-to guys do and won the game for them.”
Beginning this week, the Cougars (0-4 district, 6-8 overall) will finish out the regular season with 12 District 3-AAA games. That includes a big showdown tomorrow (Fri.) night at rival Anderson County.
“All the preliminaries are over,” said Jones.
“Time to grow up and start finishing things. If we learn to finish, it could be a fun second-half of the season.
“The district tournament will be wide open.”