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Campbell 'picked up' defensively to defeat Valdosta, advances to quarterfinals


Campbell head coach James Gwyn discusses strategy during timeout versus Valdosta

The Georgia High School Association basketball state championship continued on Saturday with second round action and in boys Class 7A, the Campbell Spartans hosted the Valdosta Wildcats with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line. The Wildcats would open up the game getting out to an 6-2 lead and controlled most of the period going up by as many as five points when they took a 20-15 lead and would end the period up 20-16.


As the second quarter got underway, the Spartans would open up on a 7-2 run to take their first lead of the night as they would take a 23-22 lead after junior Rhys Cotton would draw a foul as he would connect on a floater, completing the three point play at the foul line. The Spartans run continued as they would go up by as many as seven points when they took a 32-25 lead, but Valdosta would battle back and trail 34-31 at the half.



In the third quarter, the Wildcats would eventually tie the score at 38-38 as they took advantage of a 7-4 run to start the quarter, but the Spartans would outscore the Wildcats 12-2 to regain the lead as they would go up 50-40, their largest lead of the night to that point and would end the quarter with a 52-44 lead. The Spartans would maintain control in the fourth quarter and pick up the intensity defensively as they would go up by as many as 23 points as they led 71-48 with 1:55 remaining in the period and would go on to close out with a 75-49 win.


"We picked up a little bit on defense and I thought we started making some shots in the second half," Campbell head coach, James Gwyn said following Saturday's win that advanced the Spartans to the GHSA 7A quarterfinals, where they will take on the defending champions, the Wheeler Wildcats. "We just have to be not as concerned about their reputation," Gwyn said about facing the Wildcats who has won three state championships in the past four seasons. "We have to be confident right now that we're in the elite eight, so we're a pretty good team too," Gwyn added.


The Spartans are set to take on Wheeler on Tuesday, with the time still to be determined.

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