Lady Dragons top Savannah in double overtime, 64-60

The Cameron High School Lady Dragon Basketball Team opened 2021 with their first Midland Empire Conference victory after overcoming an early deficit to down the Savannah Lady Savages 64-60.

After a shaky first quarter, the Lady Dragons regained their footing in the second and traded shots with the Lady Savages until a 3-pointer by junior center Olivia Moore late in double-overtime sealed the victory.

“In the MEC, that’s what we expect every night. There are no easy teams,” Cameron coach Matt Wenck said. “We start off the conference year 1-0 and they’re a district opponent so it was a good night for us. Give Savannah credit. They played really well.”

Using strong perimeter shooting and an aggressive man-to-man defense, the Lady Savages gave themselves 24-16 lead by the second quarter. The Lady Dragons quickly closed the gap on a 3-pointer by senior guard Laini Joseph, which kick-started a 12-4 run with junior forward Avery McVicker picking up a fast-break bucket on a steal at half court, then jumpers by McVicker and Joseph pulled Cameron within a point of Savannah’s lead and a 3-pointer and a pair of free-throws by Joseph tied the game 30-30 going into halftime. 

“I struggled with pressure situations last year, but the more you get into them the easier they come,” said Joseph, who scored a team-leading 27 points.

Each time Savannah began to pull away in the second half, Cameron found a way to close the gap. A high-pressure free-throw by junior guard Mica Dunscombe pushed the game into overtime 49-49, then a Dunscombe 3-pointer and a Joseph free-throw, following a hard foul, took the game into double-overtime 57-57. Another McVicker steal gave Cameron a 61-59 lead with only minutes left, then Moore hit a 3-pointer to seal the victory.

“I wouldn’t recommend that shot with the time on the clock and a 1-point lead, but I’ll give her credit,” Wenck said.

With Monday’s 68-33 victory over Van Horn to open the Bill Burns Basketball Tournament in Lathrop, the Lady Dragons improve to 10-1 overall and will next face Mid-Buchanan in the tournament semifinals Thursday.

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