Bears challenge No. 21 Campbell
From Staff Reports

Jan. 6, 2007 - SULPHUR BLUFF - Ball control and a 2-3 zone defense aided the Sulphur Bluff Bears in controlling the score and pace of the game through the first half, but a lay-up at the third quarter buzzer changed the course of the game Friday night as the Campbell Indians fought back to pick up their fourth win in District 22-A, Division II play, 53-44.

From the opening tip, Sulphur Bluff (7-12, 2-3) looked in control of the game by scoring five unanswered points and Campbell (12-5, 4-1) missed its first six shots at the bucket.

The Bear's Merced Rodriguez was hot from the outside hitting three of his four 3-pointers in the first quarter. The senior led the Bears in scoring with 16 on the night. The Indians finally got on the board with 3:12 left in the quarter, managing only six points in the eight-minute effort.

In the first 30-seconds of the second quarter, Sulphur Bluff junior Gerardo Rodriguez hit his first of three 3-pointers for the night ,adding to the Bears' lead. In 23 seconds, that trey was answered by Campbell senior Justin Hebert as Campbell shooters began to find the basket, chipping away at the lead.

A full-court press in the final two minutes of the half, capped by a bucket at the buzzer (Indian Clayton Crowder's only one of the night) moved Campbell to within 28-22.

The Bears scored the first four points of the third quarter and Campbell did not manage a bucket during the first two and a half minutes. However, the Indians settled into a ball-control rhythm and utilized a man-to-man defense more in the second half. Sulphur Bluff led 35-32 with 1:15 remaining in the third, but a 6-3 last minute scoring frenzy ended with a lay-up at the buzzer by Campbell senior Justin Burden tying the game for the first time, 38-38. Burden led Indian scoring with 28 points for the night.

Campbell Coach Gary Felmet said the Indians have become a second-half team in the last four or five games as they have tumbled from 12th to 21st in the Texas coaches' poll.

Sulphur Bluff managed only six points in the fourth quarter as Campbell poured in 10 free throws along with a 3-pointer and a short jumper to score 15. Campbell spread the court going into a semi-stall game with 5:42 left in the game. The Bears scored only once after that. Campbell Coach Felmet praised the defensive work of seventh man Justin Gustafson who was in and out of the game throughout the night.

Sulphur Bluff first-year Coach Jarrett Wilson praised the play of his young team. Wilson, who took over the boys program along with coaching the Lady Bears, said his team is learning a new system this season. The Bears start two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and a freshman.

Wilson called his team a 3-point shooting squad that has “gotten better out of the man offense.” Twenty-one of the Bears' 44 points came from 3's. All seven 3-pointers came from the combined effort of senior Merced and junior Gerardo Rodriguez.

Campbell 6 16 16 15 -53

Sulphur Bluff 15 13 10 6 -44

Campbell - Justin Burden 28, Justin Hebert 11, Dillon Combs 4, Kenneth Busby 4, Justin Gustafson 4, Clayton Crowder 2.

Sulphur Bluff - Merced Rodriguez 16, Gerardo Rodriguez 13, Jonathan Andrews 8, Robert Messick 5, Kyle Keahy 2.


GIRLS

Campbell 53, Sulphur Bluff 26

Good defense and ball handling were not enough for the Sulphur Bluff Lady Bears in their 53-26 loss to the Campbell Lady Indians.

The game was never in doubt after the second minute of play. Sulphur Bluff managed only 13 points in the first half while the Lady Indians counted 24.

�Sulphur Bluff did a great job controlling the tempo of the game at the start,� Campbell coach Steve Guffey said. That forced his Lady Indians out of their man defense into a trapping defense to produce a few more opportunities. For the Lady Indians, Jessica Parker tallied 17 points followed by Britney Hass with 13.� � �

Lady Bear coach Wilson, who starts two freshmen, says his young team is learning. A number of shots fell errant during the evening for the Lady Bears. Helena Wall led Lady Bear scoring with 9.

Campbell 15 9 16 13 -53

Sulphur Bluff 8 5 6 7 -26

Campbell - Jessica Parker 17, Britney Hass 13, Helen Williams 9, Jessica Jalo 6, Kelly Ross 5, Jackie Brent 3, Britney Duplechan 2, Katie Ross 2.

Sulphur Bluff - Helena Wall 9, Summer Stailey 7, Veronica Gutierrez 4, Sarah Nelson 4, Ashley Bryant 2.

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