CAMDEN By Patric Flannigan
The Camden Fairview Basketball Program racked up two more wins last Friday at home over Crossett. The Lady Cardinals won in a blowout 52-27 while the Cardinal boys kept their cool against the emotional Eagles from Ashley County.
The Lady Cardinals looked as if it could not wait to get back on the court after a week-long break following a tough overtime loss in Fordyce to Warren. C.F. couldn’t have started the game much better as it shot over 70 percent from the field in the first quarter before running away to a 34-11 lead at the half. From there, C.F. Coach Johnny Jackson’s Lady Cardinals were able to empty its bench and get some of his younger players in the game.
All the while, the team never loss intensity as the reserves kept the tempo high and played proficient defense.
Jayla Jackson and Jihya Jefferson led the team with 13 points each followed by Tai’Sheka Porchia with 8 and Tania Dandridge with 7.
There wasn’t much love lost between the Cardinals and Eagles in a game that was expected to produce some tension.
Crossett has developed a negative reputation since its first game against C.F. - a game that led to C.F. needing a police escort out of the building following a win. Just a couple of weeks ago, Crossett players left the bench area during a skirmish between players during a game against Star City.
Not enough can be said about how the student athletes of C.F. played with poise during the game.
C.F. led 19-16 going into the second even though two of its starter had received two early fouls. The teams would exchange leads in the second and Tyree Holliman and Qway Thompson would both pick up their third fouls before the mid way mark. C.F. held to a 24-20 lead when the official over eagerly called a sideline warning on the C.F. bench when justified criticism was actually coming from the Cardinal fans. The call proved to be a boost for the home team though as the Cardinals would go on a 8-3 run over the next three minutes to take a 32-23 lead into the half.
Crossett made a big run in the third to come within two possessions of the Cardinals. After a timeout, Chris and Christian Strahan swung the momentum back in the home teams favor. First by the younger Strahan drilling a long three then again when the older intercepted a pass and glided to a one hand dunk.
A double technical was called in the third when it looked like simple game banter between opposing players, but tensions would mount again in the fourth when Dashaire Ford Burton was undercut as he was attempting to catch a pass. C.F. still kept its composure.
Crossett cut the lead to to 3 but a big break away dunk by Demarcus Morgan gave C.F. a 67-62 lead with 13 seconds left. Crossett attempted to climb back in the game but Thompson came up with a big rebound and was sent to the free throw line with about 4 seconds left. Thompson hit both free throws then came up with a steal and lay up at the buzzer on the inbound pass to set the final margin.
After the game,, a couple of Crossett players attempted to cross half court instead of head to its locker room but the situation was diffused immediately without any incident thanks to security.
Thompson led the Cardinals with 17 points followed by Chris Stahan with 15 points, Christian Strahan with 14 and Morgan with 12. Chris Stahan ended the night with a double-double after reeling in 16 rebounds - 11 by halftime and finishing with 8 assists.
C.F. will host rival Magnolia for very meaningful game on Tuesday which will also be Senior Night.
With a win, the Lady Cardinals will at least be co-conference champions with a chance to win the conference outright depending on how it finishes the remainder of the season. For the boys, a Cardinal win over Magnolia would give the Cardinals a chance to be co-conference champions after Magnolia was upset by Monticello last week.