MYRTLE BEACH — One shot can change the momentum in a game. For Hudson Catholic (N.J.), it turned out to be two.
Senior forward Reggie Cameron hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second half to fuel the Hawks’ comeback in a 50-42 victory over Wheeler (Ga.) in the quarterfinals of the Beach Ball Classic on Friday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
“They were huge,” Hudson Catholic coach Nick Mariniello said of the shots. “They [Wheeler] went to zone. I said ‘If they play zone, then we are going to have a field day.’ ”
With the Hawks trailing 20-13 at the half, the Georgetown commit’s buckets brought Hudson Catholic to within one of the Wildcats.
“In my mind, I’m one of the best shooters in the country,” Cameron said. “I know if I miss shots, I’m going to keep putting them up and eventually they will go in.”
With his team in the middle of another 6-0 run, the 6-foot-8 player rose up and hit yet another 3 to put the Hawks up 41-36. In the end, Cameron finished with a game-high 18 points and team-high five rebounds.
Wheeler got double-digit scoring from Austin Smoak (12) and Avery Patterson (10), but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
“He is such a very good player,” Wildcats coach Doug Lipscomb said of Cameron. “We always talked about marking this guy because he can score the basketball and we didn’t do that. [Hudson Catholic] showed a lot of patience and endurance and that they weren’t going to give up.”
Not only were the Hawks taking advantage on Cameron’s 3s, but their defense played a big role in the rally. Hudson Catholic scored 18 points off of turnovers and forced 29 in the game.
“We got to take care of the basketball in possession in a game like this,” Lipscomb said. “It’s us not taking care of the ball and that’s the way we look at it. It’s not being productive and that’s what cost us the game.”
• WHEELER (42) – Austin Smoak 12, Avery Patterson 10, Bilal Abdur-Rahim 9, Daniel Giddens 7, Maleek Catchings 4.
• HUDSON CATHOLIC (50) – Reggie Cameron 18, Safee Sabur 11, Nassir Barrino 7, Kavon Stewart 7, J.R. Lynch 4, Kyle McLeggan 3.
• Halftime: Wheeler 20-13. 3-point goals: Wheeler 2 (Smoak, Patterson); Hudson Catholic 5 (Cameron 4, McLeggan). Team fouls: Wheeler 17, Hudson Catholic 14. Fouled out: Smoak. Technical fouls: None.
• Records: Wheeler 7-3, Hudson 6-0