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Spartans’ coach opens tourney with 400th win
by Carlton D. White
nside@neighbornewspapers.com
December 28, 2012 03:00 PM | 807 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dante Scott poured in a game-high 27 points and shot 10-for-10 from the free-throw line to help Campbell coach James Gwyn earn his 400th career victory, 67-56 over Carver-Atlanta in the first round of the Campbell Holiday Classic on Thursday at Wills Gymnasium.

Gwyn reached the milestone in his 18th season at Campbell. He spent a total of 24 years as a high school coach in a career that began with six years and 98 wins at North Clayton.

“It’s good that we got the 400 wins out of the way early,” Gwyn said. “I didn’t want it to weigh on them and become a distraction. Now, we can move on. We still have other goals we want to achieve this season. This was just a blip.

“I’m excited about it, but I’m more excited about playing well in our region games, winning a region championship, qualifying for the state tournament and those sorts of things. That’s what we want.”

Campbell (8-5) led Carver by seven with 6:24 remaining in the game before finally starting to pull away. Scott, who was limited to two points in the fourth period after leaving the game with an eye injury, hit a jumper with 6:05 on the clock to start an 11-4 run that put Campbell in front by 16 with a minute-and-a-half remaining.

The Spartans, who made 27 of 40 free throws, were 8-for-16 in the fourth quarter to hold off the Panthers and claim the win.

Scott, who Gwyn said would be questionable for the remainder of the tournament, also had three steals and made four 3-pointers.

Rasheed Merritt added five assists and five rebounds for Campbell, while Michael Olmert contributed seven points, four assists and three steals. Bryce Mitchell totaled eight rebounds and four steals to go along with four points. Nick Mitchell had eight points and five rebounds.

Due to disciplinary actions instituted by Carver coach Rik Gilliam, the Panthers only suited up seven players, and Gilliam got all he could ask for from his players before fatigue and foul trouble eventually set in.

Campbell led 11-8 midway through the first period when Scott bookended a pair of 3s during a 14-4 run that put the Spartans in front 25-12 in the second.

Campbell held a 34-20 advantage at halftime, but it was outscored 20-15 in the third and led 49-40 entering the fourth. Back-to-back field goals from Adam Tucker helped Carver move to within 51-44, but that’s when the Spartans went on their final run to hold off Carver, which only had 11 attempts — making seven — from the free-throw line.

“We were hot and cold and up and down all night,” Gwyn said. “They were shorthanded, but they fought hard. All seven of them fought hard. We tried to get after them and get aggressive, and I think that helped.

“We were able to play some different guys and made our free throws, which was big because we needed those and it got [Carver] get in foul trouble. Overall, this was a good win.”

Tucker finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for Carver. Quendarius Fleetwood had 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Dejuan Hood totaled 14 points, five rebounds and three assists. Maurice Smith added 11 rebounds.

Campbell advanced to play Banneker in tonight’s 8:30 p.m. semifinal. Carver dropped to the consolation round and will face Southwest Atlanta Christian.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Campbell 69, Carver-Atlanta 35: Jarriel Lark scored nine of her 13 points in the second half to lead the Lady Spartans to a first-round win in the Campbell Holiday Classic.

Kanchi Patel made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points for Campbell (8-4), while D’Asia Cain also had 11. Julie McKie had nine and Marissa Hall added eight points.

Campbell led 31-23 at halftime, but it outscored Carver 21-5 in the third quarter to stake a big lead entering the fourth. The Lady Spartans kept up their defensive pressure and limited the Lady Panthers to seven fourth-quarter points

Campbell will play Westlake in the semifinals tonight at 7 p.m.

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