Going into Tuesday night’s game, Campbell County knew how potent Karns’ junior Devin Sibley could be.
Before the Campbell County game, Sibley averaged over 22 points per game. He’d also managed a 53 percent (132-of-248) shooting clip.
He’d scored at least 20 points in 13 of his previous 17 games before Tuesday’s.
“We went in with the mindset that we weren’t going to let Sibley beat us,” Cougar head coach Matt Housley said. “We know he can score 40 a game. We were going to make the other guys beat us. Credit to them. They beat us. They depended on the guys that were non-starters and non-big-time players, and they knocked shots down.”
Sibley only managed 16 points, while shooting five-of-14 from the floor against Campbell County.
“Everyone else tried to hurt us,” Gunner St. John said. “(Sibley)’s a really good player. I played with him in Rocky Top. He’s real good, but he found other players to help him out.”
Tyler Maples and Hunter Goforth picked up the slack, scoring a combined 27 points as Karns went away with a 68-48 District 3-AAA victory.
Sophomore Rosner Letner took on the tough task of guarding Sibley, which he played to perfection.
“Rosner, I can’t fault him and how he plays,” Housley said. “Every single night when he comes off the floor, he looks like he’s leaving war. He did an outstanding job guarding him all night. That’s a tough guard.”
In fact, the entire Campbell County defense did a good job of defending in the first quarter.
The Cougars came out hot, jumping to a 7-2 lead, while forcing three Karns turnovers.
However, Karns went to the dribble drive look, which Campbell County couldn’t find a way to stop.
“We played good defense during the first quarter,” Trey Torres said. “Other than that, they just got to the lane. We couldn’t stop them. They got in the middle and kicked out for the threes. That’s how they beat us.”
Karns (15-3, 5-3 District 3-AAA) knocked down seven treys, while Campbell County (8-10, 3-4) could only manage three.
Each of those three came from Gunner St. John as he finished with a game-high 19 points. Torres added 15, while Corey Poteet and Letner added four each.
Brandon Lee added three, Darrin Gillenwater two, and Dakota Dossett one.
To Housley, however, the zone is the killer.
“It’s the same thing we did against Clinton,” he said. “They went to that 3-2 zone, and we jacked up 31 threes. We put up 18 tonight, and to be honest with you, about five of them were good threes. The other ones were off one pass or no pass, and they were putting it up. That’s something we’ve got to address.”
That address will have to come quick, as Campbell County will travel to Halls on Friday night for another District 3-AAA contest.
It’ll be the same scenario, as the Red Devils look to Stetson Moore much the way Karns looks to Sibley.
“We have to figure out how to control Stetson,” St. John said. “We have to trap him on ball screens and limit him.”
Halls will be looking for blood, as they’ve managed an 0-2 start in 2013. That mark is surely dispointing after posting a 13-1 record before Christmas break.
After falling to Powell, 54-51, last Friday, the Red Devils fell in overtime, 64-63 against Oak Ridge on Tuesday night.
According to Housley, Letner will have the hard task of taking on Moore Friday night.