Print Cowboys win an overtime thriller
Written by Brian Bergner   
Monday, 13 February 2012 00:00

Without the services of senior Johnny Hudson for a third straight game, the Camp Verde High School boys basketball team almost coughed one up to the rival Scorpions on senior night Friday, Feb. 3.

Camp Verde Senior Jake Spleiss, right, and Sedona senior Chris Oestmann jump for the tipoff Friday, Feb. 3. The Camp Verde High School boys basketball team won a thriller over the Scorpions in overtime, 61-55. Camp Verde is 16-12 overall this season.Sedona Red Rock High School, which came into Friday’s contest looking to exact revenge on a 20-point loss from the week prior, took the Cowboys to overtime but Camp Verde held on to win, 61-55.

“The Sedona kids played very well. They’ve gotten so much better over the course of the season. They’ve really improved. They did a lot of good things, but we were able to hold them off,” longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon said.

Hudson’s lower back injury hasn’t allowed him to play much over the past week. He did start his final home game Friday because of senior night, but he was pulled after taking one shot in 45 seconds of game play.

“I told him to bring his uniform, we’ll suit him up and start him, let him shoot the ball once, then call a timeout and get him out of there. I wanted him to have that experience of starting as a senior on senior night,” Gagnon said.

It turned out the Cowboys didn’t need him, but the Scorpions sure did make things interesting.

Camp Verde senior Jake Spleiss made sure things went his team’s way, however, scoring 18 points while pulling 17 rebounds and adding four assists in the close victory.

Senior Brian Hudson came up big for the Cowboys too, scoring 22 points while pulling seven rebounds and adding two assists. Sophomore Mitch Latham scored 10 points and had four rebounds.

Junior Jacob Lewis was a nonfactor in Friday night’s win due to foul trouble throughout the game.

In the first quarter, Sedona jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but the Cowboys went on a 13-2 run to close out the first period up 13-8.

Camp Verde led 27-21 at halftime and 38-33 after three but Sedona went on a 16-11 run in the fourth quarter to tie it at 49-49 at the end of regulation thanks to senior Bradley Cox, who had 16 points, and senior Ashor Samano, who had 12 points.

The Cowboys outscored Sedona 12-6 in overtime with Hudson scoring six and Spleiss scoring five in the final period.

With the win, Camp Verde wraps up the 2011-2012 regular season with a 16-12 overall record.

The Section III [Division III] Tournament is scheduled to begin Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Willow Canyon High School.

Camp Verde finished No. 27 overall in the Division III Arizona Interscholastic Association power point poll. The Cowboys earned the No. 7 seed in the Section III Tournament and will play No. 2 Fountain Hills High School.

“I’m very excited to get the playoffs going. We have a tough game ahead, but I think we will come to play,” Spleiss said.

Tipoff on Wednesday against Fountain Hills is set for 7:30 p.m.