Nick Litton is getting much of the credit for Campbell County’s recent success on the basketball court.
The 6-foot-4 junior forward scored a combined 66 points and pulled down 28 rebounds while leading the Cougars (3-4 district, 9-8 overall) on a 3-game district winning streak the past couple of weeks.
Litton’s stellar play has not gone unnoticed. Earlier this week, the Knoxville News-Sentinel named him PrepXtra Boy’s High School Basketball Player of the Week.
“It reflects well on our program,” said Campbell County coach Barry Jones.
“Nick is the consummate team player, and he’s the first player we’ve had to win that award. He scored a lot earlier this season. The difference now is that he has learned how to involve the other players. He’s figuring out how to beat double teams.”
Litton’s unselfishness was easy to spot during an 80-73 victory Thursday night at Knoxville over the Hardin Valley Academy.
Litton led the scoring with 24 points, including 8-of-10 shooting from the charity stripe, but helped seal the deal by making a trio of timely assists during the fourth quarter that led to 7 points by his teammates.
Gunner St. John chipped in 17 points from the five spot, while shooting guard Corey Poteet had 15. Also scoring for the Cougars was Lucas Nelson with 7 points, Jordan Kindred 6, Ethan Simpson 5, Tyler Chapman 3, Matt Bolton 2 and Dylan Stanfield 1.
Surprisingly, Campbell County attempted five times as many foul shots as did the host team. The Cougars went 17-of-26 from the foul line, as opposed to 3-of-5 for the Hawks.
Zak Carter and Tevin Gunn carried HVA with 15 points apiece.
The following night, Litton scored 24 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter of a 67-62 defeat of visiting Knox Halls. And that was after injuring his shooting hand in the first half.
Red Devils star Stetson Moore went one better with 25 points, including 4 treys and 5-of-5 free throws, but couldn’t get the win for Halls (2-6 district, 7-7 overall).
The Cougars raced to a 12-5 start and led most of the game. Campbell County enjoyed a 40-31 advantage at halftime.
Nelson contributed 12 points for the Cougars, followed by Poteet with 9; Simpson 7; Kindred 4; Bolton, Stanfield and St. John 3 each; and Brandon Lee 2.
Halls (17-of-23) shot much better from the foul line than did Campbell County (14-of-28), but the Cougars managed to find a way to win their third consecutive game.
“If you go back to when we lost four district games before Christmas, they were all close games,” said Jones.
“(The last two weeks), it took overtime to beat Clinton, and Hardin Valley went down to the last minute. We’ve just got a young team that’s learning. That’s kind of been the story of our season.
“It’s like I keep telling everybody, if we play hard and with everything we’ve got, it gives us a chance.”
That and a healthy dose of Nick Litton.