Red Devils’ team defense
critical in win over LaBrae
By JOE CATULLO JR.
There has not been a game this year where two or three players did not cover Peyton Aldridge at once, and Friday night was no different.
The biggest concern for Campbell Memorial High was guarding the other four LaBrae players. The Red Devils didn’t have a problem with that strategy all night.
“It was just a matter of everybody in rotation,” Campbell coach Mike Szenborn said. “Make him take contested shots and get the rebound was our plan. You can’t take away everything he does, but I think we did a really good job on him.”
Aldridge finished with another double-double but was limited as Campbell won, 64-48. Aldridge finished with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
“We had to rotate on defense and get out on those 3-point shooters,” George Billiris said. “The most important thing was boxing out.”
Aldridge scored just four points in a 15-point first half for the Vikings (4-1, 1-1 All-American Conference, National Division). Campbell (6-1, 4-0) scored 25 points in the first half, most coming off 12 turnovers.
“Tonight, our guys didn’t want the ball,” LaBrae coach Chad Kiser said. “They wanted to watch. There hasn’t been a game yet where [Aldridge] wasn’t double-teamed or triple-teamed. The other guys did a good job getting to our guys, and our guys just stood still.”
The Red Devils kicked into another gear with a 15-5 scoring run in the third quarter, increasing their lead 46-29. LaBrae responded with an 8-0 run to end the quarter.
“You have to have amnesia,” Billiris said. “You have to forget about everything and just keep fighting.”
Campbell then went on a 13-5 run from the beginning of the fourth quarter to the 5:16 mark.
“I thought that every time they made a run, we were able to respond. That was another big part,” Szenborn said.
As time wound down, LaBrae had to foul. Billiris was the target for most of those and made every free throw attempt in the fourth. He hit seven consecutive free throws overall after missing his first two in the opening quarter.
“I was nervous,” he said. “After I missed the first two, I just knew that I had to make the rest. I practiced all day on them and came early.”
Billiris finished with a game-high 17 points. Michael Williams scored 14 points and collected a team-high 10 rebounds. Daron Clinkscale had 12 points and a game-high six assists.
“George was solid. All the kids played hard; it wasn’t just George,” Szenborn said. “It was a great team effort. Everybody played well, everybody played together, and we got quality minutes out of them.”
For LaBrae, nobody scored in double figures other than Aldridge. Collin Phillips scored eight points while Mike Eakins tallied seven.
“We got out-coached and out-played. It’s as simple as that,” Kiser said. “There’s not a phase that we out-played them in.”
Friday marked the first time Campbell defeated LaBrae in two years. Szenborn said it was an early Christmas present.
“This is the biggest win for these kids in a long time,” Szenborn said.