‘Action Jackson’ helps Campbell in OT

By Ryan Buck



Aaron Jackson giveth ... and Aaron Jackson taketh away.

With his team clinging to a 59-57 lead over Brookfield in a wild overtime affair Tuesday night, Campbell’s junior wing had a chance to put his team ahead by four points and two possessions with 23 seconds left. All he needed to do was sink his two free throws.

His first bounced unfavorably while his four teammates in the Campbell backcourt winced and the home crowd groaned in unison.

The second skimmed the back iron and rolled off the front of the rim, a golden opportunity for Brookfield. Jackson, the only Red Devil in the lane, evaded the motionless quartet of Warriors stuck at their positions and snatched the uncontested rebound before cutting to his left and finding teammate Daron Clinkscale on the wing, where he immediately drew a foul call.

“I saw that they weren’t stepping up to get the rebound and I stepped up to get it,” said Jackson, who scored 13 points in the game. “I did all I could for my team. It was right there. It looked like [Brookfield] gave up. I just put myself there and got the rebound for my team.”

Clinkscale made the first of his two free throws to give Campell a 60-57 lead with 19 seconds left. The Red Devils survived a 3-point attempt from Brookfield’s Caleb Hunkus before Mike Williams drew a foul call and sank two more free throws to ensure Campbell’s 62-57 victory.

“That’s just a hustle play,” said second-year Campbell coach Mike Szenborn. “Aaron’s the kind of kid that’s never going to give up. even if he does make a mistake.

“We always tell the kids, ‘Short-term memory. When you make a mistake, it has to be over and you’ve got to move on.’”

Campbell survived a methodical comeback from Brookfield, which fell behind 15-5 in the first quarter and trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter. A 12-0 run to finish the third and into the fourth, capped off by Nate Johnson’s 3-pointer from the right corner, brought them to within one point with 1:30 left in regulation.

A Clinkscale free throw put Campbell ahead by three before Hunkus’ 3-pointer tied the game at 50 with 46 seconds left. Hunkus put Brookfield ahead 51-50 seconds later when he made one of two foul shots.

Brookfield’s Jamar Tarver stole an errant Campbell pass and drew a foul, but missed his own two free-throw attempts. Campbell’s George Billiris was fouled after a timeout inbounds play. After missing the first, he made his second to tie it, and on they went to overtime.

The scene only became more surreal when, trailing 57-55, Brookfield’s Seth Wallace appeared to follow a miss with a tap-in put-back. Referees waved off the basket immediately on a goaltending call.

“I saw it a little differently,” said Brookfield coach Bill Kovach. “We thought it came off the rim, but it was a really close call. Too close to say it was one way or another.”

After a turnover at their own end, Clinkscale stole an errant Brookfield pass, took two dribbles and found Cam Collins in stride for an easy layup and a 59-55 lead.

“I saw the open space in the paint and I took it,” Collins said. “The layup was there and I was trying to use my body to catch a foul [call] if there was anyone there.”

Tarver converted at the other end to bring Brookfield’s deficit back to two with 29 seconds left, setting the stage for Jackson.

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