Cards top Camels in battle of region kingpins

Published 11:49 am Friday, December 3, 2021

Twice the George Rogers Clark Cardinals gave up double-digit leads on the Campbell County Camels, and twice the defending Region 10 champions stonewalled the comeback attempts in their 76-65 season-opening victory on the road in Alexandria.

Senior transfer Tanner Walton hit two 3-pointers early in the third quarter and sparked an 8-0 run that helped build the Cards’ 38-27 halftime edge to a 22-point advantage by the halfway point in the quarter. Walton finished 4-of-4 from downtown and tied for the team-high in points with 19.

Then the Camels caught fire from deep. They hit 6-of-7 triples to open the second half and outscored GRC 21-5 over the next five minutes to turn a potential blowout into a see-saw contest.

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The Camels trimmed the deficit to single digits several times in the fourth quarter, but Cards junior Trey Edwards answered the bell on both ends of the floor.

He scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth and added several vital blocks (he had five total), slamming the door on the host’s hopes for an upset. Edwards also snatched seven rebounds.

The first half followed the same script.

GRC used an opening 6-0 run to jump out to a quick 14-2 lead, forcing the Camels to burn two early timeouts.

The Camels responded after the second timeout with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to three points, 14-11. GRC opened the lead back up to a comfortable margin but had the Camels nipping at their heels the rest of the half.

Senior point guard Aden Slone steadied the ship as Walton, Edwards and Jerone Morton battled foul trouble. His second 3 of the half restored the Cards’ double-digit advantage before the halftime buzzer. Slone finished with 11 points.

Morton, the Cards’ leading scorer last season, struggled from the field but finished with a double-double, 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Camels man in the middle, Eric Davie, tested GRC in the paint. His 22 and 15 rebounds matched Morton’s double-double. His front court mate, Aydan Hamilton, added 21 points to the Campbell County effort.

The game was a rematch of last year’s Region 10 Finals. The Cards edged the Camels 60-59 to advance to Rupp Arena. The teams have combined to win four of the last five region titles.

GRC 20, 18, 17, 21 – 76
Campbell County 13, 14, 19, 19 – 65

GRC (1-0): Edwards 19, Walton 19, Slone 11, Morton 11, Parrish 6, Smothers 4, Maxwell 2, Hampton 2, Hernandez 2
Campbell County (0-1): Davie 22, Hamilton 21, Gross 10, Siry 4, Smith 4, Hill 2, Sorgenfrei 2