Camdenton had a chip on its shoulder.
The Lakers came into Tuesday night’s home opener off of a loss to close out the Marshall Tournament and the team did not want to disappoint with Eldon in town. Camdenton made sure that was the case as they defeated their lake area neighbor 64 to 38.
“After the Marshall Tournament we just came into practice and everybody was just, I don’t want to say mad, but we played angry and that was great for us because it made us better and I love that aspect,” said Camdenton senior Dyllan Decker who lead all scorers with 23 points. “That is one thing about this team that is awesome is that we don’t lay down. No matter how bad something goes we just get right back, keep fighting and keep pushing and I think that is a really great aspect to have for the future as well.”
The Lakers were in control from the start opening the contest on an 8-0 run and holding their opponent scoreless for nearly the first six minutes of the game. Camdenton lead 15-4 after the first quarter and extended the lead to 32-12 by halftime. The second half was mostly more of the same.
Camdenton coach Jared O’Quinn said he wanted to see a stronger defensive effort after the Marshall Tournament and that is exactly what he got from his club Tuesday night.
“Offensively we are getting better and making strides to do the right things, but defensively we needed some work and I thought tonight we dug in, got some stops early on, finished out possessions with defensive rebounds and when we do that we can be pretty good.”
Camdenton junior Isaiah Lumley was one of the players who got that message loud and clear.
“Coach stresses defense more than anything else so we definitely put a lot of pride into our defense and we are continuing to put a lot of pride in our defense,” he said. “Hopefully that is one of the things that we will be able to best by the end of the year.”
Eldon coach Brandon Kliethermes said the Camdenton defense did not make anything easier, but there was also just a lack of execution from the start.
“We just did not execute very well early on and when we did we did not make easy shots so that is a tough combination,” the coach pointed out. “We are going to have to be tough enough to execute all the time to get good shots and we got to make them when we get them. We just did not do that early on.
“I thought in the second half we did execute some stuff, but then we were down 20 and playing with nothing to lose. We have to execute like that from the get-go and I think if we do that we give ourselves a chance,” Kliethermes added.
Meanwhile, Camdenton had little trouble putting the ball in the basket as nine different Lakers scored before the night was through. Lumley chipped in 16 while junior Grant Norton knocked down six and both junior Garrett Golliher and freshman Brandon Pasley added five respectively.
“We just move the ball better than any team I’ve ever been on,” Decker remarked. “It’s ridiculous how unselfish we really are. It is really fun to practice and play how we don’t care who puts up the stat sheet. It is all about the win and I think that is the really awesome part about this team.”
Eldon senior Morgan Anderson and junior Devin Degraffenreid paced the Mustangs with 10 points each while junior Drew Rodriguez and senior Devin Lewis contributed six points of their own respectively.
Kliethermes said the offensive game plan is simple. It is just a matter of doing all the little things right in order to put up more points on the scoreboard.
“It is about as easy as we can make it,” the coach said of the offense. “We just got to be tougher, use the shot fakes and be really fundamental and strong with the ball. I think if we do those things we give ourselves a chance, but we have to do them every single trip and we are just not doing that right now.”
Eldon (0-5) will seek to turn their fortunes around when Eugene comes to town Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
“It does not get any easier for us. We play a really good Eugene team on Friday that we are going to get film on and practice for tomorrow,” Kliethermes noted. “There are definitely some positives to take away so tonight was not all negative despite what the scoreboard might say. We just have to continue to build the positives and limit the negatives.”
Camdenton (2-2) will play host to Helias Catholic on Friday night at 6:45 p.m., and O’Quinn said the team will not be taking their next opponent lightly.
“We made some gains and strides in the right direction. We know we’ve got a tough opponent coming in on Friday in Helias,” he stated. “They are one of the best basketball programs in the state and that is what we are striving to be. We know we are going to have our hands full and we are just going to mentally and physically prepare and try to get better each and every day.”