Cameron Pointing The Way For Howard Success

Monday, February 25, 2013 - by David Jenkins

When your team possesses the biggest, quickest and utterly dangerous big man in the region, you had better make sure he gets the basketball.  

The only problem is, every coach from every team you've met along the way has pulled out all the stops to disrupt that part of your game. So if you're Howard point guard Shailique Cameron, your job each night is to outguess every opposing coach you face. And Cameron, whose Howard Tigers go into this week's Region 6-AA semifinals with a 24-5 record, has done the job admirably.

 

The Tigers next take the floor Tuesday at 7:45 in the Region 3-AA semifinal at McMinn County High School against the Central Purple Pounders (17-9), who snatched a first-round road win against from Meigs County Saturday. The Pounders are one of only two teams in District 6-AA to defeat Howard in the regular season, but lost 71-44 in the district as Cameron helped break down the Central defense with four 3-pointers as part of his 14-point game. 

“He deserves to be written about,” said his head coach, Walt McGary.

 Cameron, whose distinctive two-hand set shot from long range has become a trademark and a crowd favorite, had only periodically been a scoring threat during the season. But as teams did more and more to attempt to smother the Tigers' imposing inside game (mostly 6-foot-8 Brandon Walters), it fell upon Cameron and fellow senior guard Antonio Smith to find ways of getting Walters involved or, more and more, putting points up themselves.

 Last week's District 6-AA tournament was Cameron's emergence as a scorer, as he registered double figures in all three wins. In the opening win against Red Bank, he put up 10 points, against Central in the semis, he served as the zone-breaker with four 3s, then against the Brainerd Panthers in an exciting championship game, he put up 17 big points, hitting one of his patented 3-bombs, but also taking it inside as the Panthers worried about his passing right up until the moment he'd score. 

“We've learned to keep moving the ball around,” Graham said following Howard's first-round rout of Polk County. “I've learned to start looking for my shot more, and we're all playing off each other.” 

McGary had bemoaned the fact that the Tigers were reluctant converts to his philosophy about moving the ball around. But right about the time the calendar flipped over to the new year, things starting sinking in. It took a bummer of a loss at East Hamilton, one in which the Tigers scored only 46 points, to complete to education. 

The Tigers have won eight of nine since.

 “Playing with Brandon, can make it very easy for us some nights,” Cameron said. “We try our best to get it to him. It's a real pleasure being his teammate” 

But Cameron has plenty of confidence in his own offensive game, when needed. His old-school two-handed set shot is a lifelong skill taught to him by his father, Kevin Cameron. 

“I've been doing catch-and-shoot since I was about five,” he recalled. 

Cameron and his backcourt mate, Antonio Smith, have been teammates since the ninth grade, and can easily swap out point and shooting guard roles to show defenses a new look. As a result each has his best overall games in recent weeks, according to their coach. 

“We really have our confidence now,” Cameron said.

----------

The Region semifinals begin tonight at 6 with East Hamilton (23-9) meeting 6-AA rival Tyner (11-16), which came away with a road upset. The Lady Hurricanes have beaten the Lady Rams three times this season, including a 54-42 victory in last week's District 6-AA semifinals.

Following will be a 5-AA rivalry matchup between Meigs County (25-6) and McMinn Central (27-3). In their two previous meetings, the Lady Chargers had wins by two and 39 points.

Tuesday's boys semifinals will begin with a much-anticipated battle between Brainerd (15-12) and McMinn Central (27-3) at 6:00, followed by the Howard (24-5) against Central (17-9) to start right around 7:45.

 


Central's Season Ends With Heartbreaking Loss, 3-2

MURFREESBORO – The Central Lady Purple Pounders lost a heartbreaker Friday morning at Starplex No. 2. Facing the Lexington Lady Tigers for the right to face Greeneville again, Central came up just a tad bit short, losing 3-2 on a two-run triple with one out in the seventh inning. The Lady Pounders were thisclose to winning in the loser’s bracket final, but it just wasn’t ... (click for more)

Former Lafayette High's Demarcus Simpson Wins NCAA Division II National Championship As A College Freshman

Chadron State College freshman Damarcus Simpson said he surprised even himself Thursday afternoon when he went 26-feet, 3 inches while winning the long jump at the NCAA Division II National Track and Field Championships in Allendale, Mich. Simpson set the pace early when he hit 25-11 on his second jump during the first flight. He posted his winning jump on his opening attempt ... (click for more)

EPB Seeks 3.5% Rate Increase; First Since 2011

EPB on Friday morning asked its board of directors to consider a 3.5 percent rate increase to monthly electric power charges for customers, effective July 1. The board is set to vote on the measure in June. For residential customers who use 1,000 kWh of electric power in a month, this adjustment will reflect an increase of about $3.50 on their monthly bills. The 3.5 percent ... (click for more)

Garcia Charged With Armed Robbery Of Red Bank Dollar Store

Red Bank Police have charged 25-year-old Derek Matthew Garcia with the armed robbery of the Dollar General Store at 4707 Dayton Blvd. Police Chief Tim Christol said the robbery occurred last Friday at approximately 12:30 p.m. when Garcia entered the store armed with a knife and demanded the clerk give him all the money from the cash register. He was arrested Thursday ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)