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High school boys basketball

Momentum swing: Craft's block helps lift Windjammers past Lions

In tight affair, Craft's shot rejection in third quarter swings momentum to Camden Hills
By Zack Miller | Feb 18, 2021
Photo by: Zack Miller Belfast's Chase Sanders, left, and Camden Hills' Hunter Norton on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. The visiting Windjammers beat the Lions 56-48.

Belfast — It always is amazing how one play can change the flow of a game.

Players dream about it from a young age, but seldom get to experience a moment where they can say a play they made titled the game in their team's favor.

Camden Hills' Ben Craft found himself in one of those moments on Wednesday night, Feb. 17, as his block on Belfast's Tommy Walker's potential layup with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter, gave the Windjammers enough momentum to hold off Belfast for a 56-48 high school boys basketball road victory.

As Camden Hills held a three-point lead, Walker stole a pass and looked to have an easy uncontested layup, as he went coast-to-coast, but Craft never gave up on the play, caught Walker, and blocked the shot from behind and off the backboard, as the thud echoed throughout the empty gymnasium.

If Walker had made the layup, Camden Hills' advantage would have been cut to one point, but Craft's block preserved those extra two points, while it also created a fast break for the visitors. The fast break resulted in Casey Messer's layup seconds later, as the visitors' lead pushed to five.

The victory gave Camden Hills a 6-2 record in regional play, while the Lions fell to 4-6.

Watch video and see 56 photos below, and see Craft's block at 3:25 mark. Click here for livestream.

The Windjammers led at the quarter breaks — 15-14, 30-28 and 41-36.

Hunter Norton led the visitors with 15 points, while Aidan Schecter added 13; Westen DeWaard, eight; Aidan O'Connell, six; Messer, five; Ryan Clifford, four; Liam O'Neal, three; and Eben Fagonde, two. O'Connell knocked down two treys, while DeWaard, Messer, Schecter and Norton hit one.

Chris Kelley led Belfast with 16 points, while Tanner Veilleux added 12; Jason Bartlett, 11; Drew Abelon, six; and Walker, three. Kelley netted three treys for the hosts, while Veilleux and Bartlett added two; and Walker and Abelon, one.

Camden Hills was 3-of-5 (60 percent) from the free-throw line, while Belfast was 3-of-6 (50 percent).

After the first 2:10 of the game went scoreless, Veilleux's turnaround jumper fell to start a 9-3 run for the hosts.

Kelley hit a three a minute later, but Norton answered with a trey of his own, followed by baskets by Bartlett, and Kelley again with 2:53 to play in the first quarter, as the Windjammers called timeout to regroup.

The Windjammers woke up after the timeout, as the visitors went on a 7-0 run. Schecter knocked down a shot from the free-throw line, Norton hit a fallaway from the left elbow and Messer a three from the wing in a span of 1:07, to put Camden Hills ahead 10-9.

The opponents continued their battle into the second quarter, as Veilleux made a steal and hit a three from the top of the key to open the stanza, to push Belfast ahead 17-15.

After another multi-minute scoreless streak for the foes, Clifford's layup tied the game 19-19, and also started an 8-0 Windjammer run, as O'Connell and DeWaard knocked down treys.

Veilleux found cutting Bartlett in the paint to keep the game within arms-length, as Camden Hills' advantage dropped to 25-21 with 2:50 to play in the half.

The Lions regained the advantage in the first minute of the third stanza, as Kelley knocked down a trey, but it was short-lived as Norton coverted a layup off an inbounds play to give the Windjammers a 32-31 advantage.

After a third scoreless streak — this one which lasted nearly two-and-a-half minutes — between the Lions and Windjammers, Schecter knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the visitors a four-point lead.

Abelon hit 1-of-2 free throws a minute-and-a-half later to cut Camden Hills' advantage to three, and Walker looked as if he would cut it to one point with the potential layup, before Craft's block turned the tide.

Messer made a layup 15 seconds later off the fast break, and Fagonde scored his lone points as he cut to the hoop to push the advantage to 39-32.

Kelley hit a deep two to claw the Lions within five points, and Veilleux hit a 15-footer with 10 seconds to play in the third quarter to cut the Windjammer lead to 39-36.

With eight seconds remaining, Messer brought the ball across halfcourt, fired a right-to-left cross-court pass to Clifford, who, in one swift motion, made a no-look, behind-the-back pass to Schecter along the baseline, who scored as the buzzer sounded.

Schecter's basket was the start of a 9-0 run for the Windjammers, a burst that lasted the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, and saw the visitors' advantage balloon to 47-36.

Camden Hills played "keep away" the rest of the way, while Belfast could not get their shots to fall in the remainder of their limited attempts.

Camden Hills boys basketball at Belfast
Belfast hosts Camden Hills on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Camden Hills at Belfast on Feb. 17 in high school boys basketball. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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