By Steve wilaj
Entering the fourth quarter with a 12-point lead, the Campbell boys basketball team — which coach Mike Szenborn said was “hungry” for a win — looked well on its way to satisfying its appetite Friday night.
Howland did its best to try to spoil the Red Devils’ meal, but Campbell weathered a a furious comeback attempt by the Tigers to notch its first victory of the season, 64-62.
The Red Devils won despite being outscored 19-9 in the fourth quarter.
“We fought through the adversity,” Szenborn said. “That’s the sign of a team hungry for the first win and a team that’s willing to go the extra distance to get that first W.”
Howland (0-2) opened the fourth quarter with a 12-0 run, as a 3-pointer by John-Mark Weisman at the 3:12 mark tied the game at 55.
“I think we cherished possessions a little bit better than we had in the first three quarters,” Tigers coach Bill Bogan said of his team’s spurt. “We didn’t settle for jump shots. We have to attack the rim and we did in the fourth quarter and had good results.”
Keying the Howland run was its ability to force turnovers. In the second half alone, the Red Devils committed 18 turnovers.
“We turned up the pressure a little bit,” Bogan said.
But with the game tied at 55, Campbell (1-2) responded to the pressure. After a Charles Smith free throw, a layup by Jayle’ll Shorter extended the lead to 58-55 with 2:58 remaining.
Later in the fourth, Howland cut the deficit to 60-59, until a layup by Edgar Toledo pushed the lead to three at the 1:30 mark.
Still, the Tigers had one last opportunity. With the ball and facing a 62-60 deficit with 35 seconds left, Howland turned it over with just 11 seconds to play.
“We’re a young team and we’re still learning how to win,” Szenborn said. “Our kids fought back and showed a lot of integrity tonight. We didn’t give up.”
The youthful Red Devils were led by four players scoring in double figures. George Billiris and Toledo had 13 points, while Daron Clinkscale and Smith added 11.
Shorter contributed 11 rebounds, with most of them coming in the fourth quarter.
Weisman led all scorers with 27 points for Howland. He was 11 of 16 at the foul line. Arbie Murray added 11 points.
“We’re young, but we had a winnable basketball game out here tonight and we needed our senior returners to step up and get that victory,” Bogan said. “Turnovers and missed layups killed us. It’s not pleasing at all.”