Campbell comes up short against Canton CC
By Brandon Judeh
With 15 seconds remaining in Monday’s Division III boys district semifinal game, the Campbell High boys basketball team trailed Canton Central Catholic by three points.
Head coach Mike Szenborn called a timeout to design a play that would give George Billiris or Stephan Elash a chance to tie the game.
It didn’t happen. The Red Devils were unable to get a shot off and lost a heartbreaker, 46-43.
“We wanted to get one of those two guys an open look for three, but unfortunately there was some chaos in the final moments and it ended up being a busted play,” Szenborn said. “Sometimes stuff like that happens in the heat of the moment.”
Billiris took responsibility.
“It was really unfortunate that we messed that last play up,” Billiris said. “It was my job to get open for a 3-pointer, but things just didn’t pan out how we wanted it to.”
The Red Devils (15-8) had a cold shooting night, making just 35 percent from the field (19-54). They only attempted eight free throws.
“We couldn’t hit a shot, we were cold, when your battling through an ice cold shooting night like this you have to play great defense,” Szenborn said. “We held a great shooting team to only 46 points.
“If a few more shots would have [fallen] for us, we would have no doubt won,” Szenborn said.
Campbell did a great job of shutting down the Crusader’s (14-10) high-powered offense, holding them to just 15-40 shooting.
With three minutes remaining in the second quarter, Campbell trailed 18-10 after a 10-2 run by the Crusaders.
The Red Devils proceeded to crack down on defense and slowly chip away at Canton Central’s lead.
A Billiris steal and assist to Daron Clinkscale led to an easy bucket that tied the game at 25 with a about three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Campbell led by one heading into the final quarter, but it was their last lead.
“Our kids showed a lot of resilience and a lot of character out there tonight,” Szenborn said. “They kept fighting and never gave up, they did a good job fighting through adversity as they have all season.”
The Crusaders quickly jumped out to a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter thanks to 3-pointers by Spencer Rowlands and Pete Williams.
Canton Central moves on to play the winner of tonight’s Springfield-Lisbon game on Friday at 7 p.m. at Salem High School.
Leading the way for the Red Devils were Clinkscale with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Mike Williams scored a game-high 13 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Despite the loss, the Red Devils’ future is bright as they will return 12 seniors next season, something Billiris anticipates.
“We have a ton of guys coming back,” Billiris said. “Our goal is to get back here next year and win the district title.”