By David Claybourn
Herald-Banner Sports Editor
Campbell and Caddo Mills will try to continue their climbs up the basketball playoff ladder today while the Community Braves prepare for their next playoff game on Saturday.
The Campbell boys and girls teams swept a pair of teams from Irving Universal in a playoff doubleheader on Wednesday night at Boles High School near Quinlan.
The Campbell Lady Indians nipped Irving Universal 54-52 in a Class A Region II regional quarterfinal to advance to the Region III-A girls tournament for the first time in school history. The 20-11 Lady Indians will face Crowell at 5 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.
Justin Burden helped the Campbell Indians to an 85-42 victory over Universal in a boys bi-district playoff. Burden rang up 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the 23-7 Indians advanced to the area round to play No. 9 state-ranked Tenaha at 8 p.m. in Gladewater.
Ryan Cooper hit two free throws with two seconds left to seal the Caddo Mills Foxes a 54-51 victory over Keene in a Class 2A bi-district playoff on Wednesday night.
Caddo Mills, now 25-6, will face Holliday in an area playoff at 7:30 p.m. in Decatur. Holliday earned a bye after winning the District 9-2A title.
Campbell’s Lady Indians have won their last two playoff games by a margin of only three points, including a 53-52 victory over Karnack in the area round of the playoffs.
“Early in the year we lost a bunch of close ones,” said Campbell coach Steve Guffey. “Now we’ve finally learned how to win them.”
The Lady Indians achieved two preseason goals with their 20th victory and also in making it to the regional tournament.
“Like I told the girls, there’s 16 teams left in the state of Texas and you’re one of them,” said Guffey.
Guffey said he’s proud of the Lady Indians, who are definitely overachievers.
Jessica Barker had a big game for Campbell on Wednesday night with 26 points. Britney Haas fired in 11 points, including three straight 3-pointers to open the third quarter. Kelly Ross pumped in eight points and her sister Katie Ross added seven points.
Crowell earned a first-round bye with its District 19-A title and has beaten Gordon 68-48 and Lipan 69-64 in the subsequent rounds of the playoffs.
Guffey said Crowell will likely press the Lady Indians on defense and try to protect the goal with a 6-1 player.
“They’re going to press me the whole time and play a little 1-3-1 zone,” he said. “If you push it and break it you’ve got to shoot over her (the big girl).”
Campbell’s Indians overcame poor free throw shooting to down Irving Universal. The Indians were only 10-of-30 from the line. They have been averaging about 65 percent from the line during the season.
Campbell coach Gary Felmet said the Indians will need to hit their free throws to beat state-ranked Tenaha.
“We feel like we’ve got a good shot at them...if we do what we’re supposed to do,” he said.
Ryan Seale also pumped in 24 points for Campbell against Irving Universal and Justin Hebert handed out six assists.
Desmond Brigham had a big game for Caddo Mills in its win over Keene, sinking 21 points, including the go-ahead bucket. Caddo Mills trailed by one point with 27 seconds but got a steal and then a pass from Eric Jeffery to Brigham. Cooper later sealed the deal with his two free throws.
Eric Jeffery fired in 12 points for the Foxes and Cooper added 10 points.
Community, which picked up 38 points from B.J. Dale in its 65-63 bi-district overtime victory over Van Alstyne on Wednesday night, will get an extra day to prepare for its area playoff game in Sachse at 6:30 p.m. Saturday against Carrollton Ranchview.
By David Claybourn