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Cambridge sharpshooters top Crusader basketball, 58-51

With just five players available and no size to speak of, the 3A Dallas Cambridge Academy Lions didn’t look very imposing.
Looks had nothing to do with the 11 three pointers the team drilled, however, as it rode long-range shooting to a hard-fought 58-51 win over the Crusaders. St. John was never outscored by more than three points in any quarter, but every time the blue team closed the gap Cambridge pulled another bomb from downtown out of its hat.
“Cambridge could really shoot the ball, especially if you left them open,” said coach Cody O’Daniel.
“We weren’t getting out to their shooters and they’re a great team.”
B.J. O’Daniel led St. John with 26 points, three steals, two assists and a block. Jake Howard added 13 points with a couple of assists, while John Sampson scored four points with a block and a steal off the bench. Ryan Almand had three assists for St. John and rebounded well.
O’Daniel came out on fire with 12 first-quarter points, but Cambridge drilled a trio of threes for a 14-14 ballgame. Almand had a couple of early assists to O’Daniel for three pointers of his own.
“B.J. did a good job tonight,” the coach said.
“Ryan was our player of the game with his rebounding and passing. He was always around the ball. I told the guys ahead of time that Cambridge had some good shooters. We just lost track of where they were on crosscourt passes.”
O’Daniel continued to light it up early in the second quarter with a spinning layup, a runner and a couple of free throws. Cambridge appeared to go through a cold spell, but by quarter’s end the visitors buried four more three pointers. Sampson came in with a nice contribution (jumper, block), but Cambridge took a 30-27 lead into the locker room.
“John had a good game, especially considering that he hasn’t gotten any practice in with us lately,” O’Daniel said.
Howard got rolling in the third quarter behind strong offensive rebounding and dribble penetration to score eight points. J.J. O’Connor had a block and three points in the frame. Cambridge only hit two threes in the quarter, but the Lions found more success inside with put backs to increase their lead by a point, 42-38.
“Jake really played well, especially with his rebounding,” O’Daniel said.
“He managed to score inside and outside. They were able to break our defense in man and zone, so you just have to give them credit. However, I do think we’ll be better prepared when we face a shooting team like that in the future.”
Almand opened the fourth with a driving layup, but Cambridge countered with seven-straight points. Howard hit a three and Sampson scored on a put back in the middle of the quarter before O’Daniel tried to bring his team back late. The senior guard had four points, two steals, a block and an assist down the stretch, but the Lions were able to beat the Crusader defense for a couple of late layups to punch their ticket to the championship game.
“Jake took a shot to the eye with an elbow and kept playing well,” O’Daniel said.
“We needed some more defensive stops because you don’t want to trade baskets with that team. Burton [Academy, Friday’s opponent at 11:30 a.m.,] is a bigger team that doesn’t have quite as many shooters, so it will be a different approach for us.”

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Posted by on Dec 30 2006. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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