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Ashley boys can't pull off upset


CLAYTON | It took Ashley 12 years to get its first win in the boys basketball state tournament. Its second nearly came two days later.

The upset wasn’t to be though, as the Screaming Eagles ran out of gas late and fell 61-49 to Clayton in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs Wednesday night.

“There were some questionable things that happened there – (you) can fill in the blank there,” Ashley coach Bryn McSwain said. “I still think we should have won that game.

“I’d love to have played them somewhere else, I’d love to see what would have happened.”

On the floor in Clayton though, the game was there for the taking.  

Midway through the third quarter, a Ridell Camidge 3-pointer silenced the crowd and gave the Screaming Eagles (17-9) a 32-31 lead. Moments later, they led 34-33  on two Camidge free throws.

From there, the Comets ratcheted up a stifling full-court press and took over for good, and salted the game away with a 14-4 run over the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter.

“They pressured us really well – their perimeter pressure was really good,” McSwain said. “I’m not going to take anything away from them, but we didn’t execute very well.”

Camidge scored 11 of his 18 points in the first half. Saddled with foul trouble, he couldn’t find a rhythm in the second half. He was on the bench when the Comets made their decisive run, and returned briefly before fouling out on a call that the Ashley bench disagreed with.

Still, it was a landmark season for Ashley. McSwain pointed to the team’s winning conference record, beating New Hanover in Brogden Hall and putting a scare into a top-seeded team.

“This was huge – that’s what I told them,” McSwain said. “This is a lot of firsts, and I wasn’t blowing smoke at them.”

- By StarNews Correspondent Brant Wilkerson-New