By Phil Anastasia
Assistant coach and former Camden great Vic Carstarphen called it an "old-fashioned Camden comeback."
That was fitting, since John Valore appealed to his players' pride in representing program's rich tradition at halftime.
Down by 20 at halftime and by 22 early in the third quarter, Camden rallied for a remarkable 72-69 victory over Medford Tech in wild game at the Jimmy V Classic at Schalick on Saturday.
"I hate back-to-back games," said Valore, referring to Camden's second game in less than 24 hours after opening the season with a win on Friday night.
Medford Tech was in the same boat and the Jaguars played a marvelous first half, nailing seven three-pointers and building a 38-18 lead at the break.
"Coach made a great speech at halftime," Camden senior Jamil Maddred said. "He told us we had to pick it up and represent Camden."
In just his second game as Camden's coach, Valore experienced one of the wildest comebacks of his 37-season career.
Camden rallied with full-court pressure defense and an offensive approach that focused on taking the basketball to the rim.
Sophomore Brad Hawkins led Camden with 26, including 10 in the third quarter and 7 in the fourth quarter.
Maddred (pictured) scored 12 of his 14 in the fourth quarter and OT.
"I had to step up for my team," Maddred said.
Junior Rasool Hinson's two free throws gave Camden a 66-64 lead with 0:28 left in the fourth quarter.
But sophomore Shakwel Vincent made two free throws at the 0:25 mark to tie the game and send it into OT.
Camden held the ball for the first 3-plus minutes of OT, as Medford Tech stay in its zone and didn't challenge the Panthers as they maintained possession near halftime.
Maddred scored on a drive at 0:40, and Hinson added four free throws in the final 0:26.
In the fourth quarter and OT, Camden was 15-for-18 from the foul line.
Camden's starting five all played all 36 minutes.
"It was all here," Valore said, tapping his heart. "These kids didn't want people to look at them and think that's how they play for Camden."
Camden 11 7 23 25 6 -- 72
Med Tech 16 22 11 17 3 -- 69
C: Brad Hawkins 26, Will McCants 4, Rasool Hinson 14, Jamal Holloway 14, Jamil Maddred 14.
MT: Dennis Tunstall 6, Sidney Harris 11, Isaiah Williams 19, John Armstead 3, DeAngelo Hilton 4, Derrick Jones 2, Shakwell Vincent 19, Aziz Parker 5.
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at email@example.com