It’s been an unsettling start to the season for the Campbell County High School boy’s varsity basketball team.
The Cougars (2-4 overall), who have struggled to come up with a defense to match their high scoring offense, played four Thanksgiving tournament games without their head coach, Barry Jones, whose youngest son underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor.
Campbell County did win half its games last week, one each at the Scott High and Heritage tournaments.
After defeating Oneida, 87-74, on opening night of the Scott County Thanksgiving Classic, the Cougars suffered a 79-78 overtime loss to the host team on Nov. 24. Jake Sexton finished with a tournament-best 37 points for the Highlanders.
Cody Malicoat and Sean Chapman did their best to try and save the Cougars but, in the end, their combined 43 points weren’t enough. Malicoat led Campbell County with 25 points, four rebounds and three assists. Chapman finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds four blocked shots and a pair of steals.
Also scoring for the Cougars was Chad Wagers and Brandon Lee with six points each, Tyler Chapman and Cory Poteet five each, Matt Miller and Ethan Simpson four each, Nick Litton three and Jordan Kindred two. Miller dished out five assists.
Campbell County shot only 33 percent from the field (27-of-81) and 64 percent (16-of-25) from the charity stripe.
Three nights later, the Cougars got back on the winning track with a 72-66 triumph over host Heritage. Malicoat led the scoring with 18 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked two shots.
Chapman finished with 12 points, including a pair of treys, four rebounds and four steals.
Poteet chipped in nine points, followed by Miller with eight, Simpson and Litton six each, Lee and Kindred four each, Tyler Chapman three and Dylan Stanfield two.
The game was close throughout, with Campbell County leading 14-11 at the end of the first quarter, 31-30 at halftime and 51-49 at the end of the third period on Sean Chapman’s buzzer beating 3-pointer.
The Cougars made eight 3-pointers during the game.
Chris Smelcee scored all of his game-high 21 points in the second half to carry Heritage.
On the following afternoon, things did not go quite so well for Campbell County. The Cougars suffered a 93-67 setback to Maryville. Malicoat and Litton led CCHS with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Tyler Chapman finished with eight points, followed by Lee with six; Sean Chapman, Simpson, Stanfield and Nate Kennedy with four each; Miller three, Poteet and Kindred two each.
Simpson dished out a career-high 10 assists and made three steals.