Warriors find winning formula

By Ivan Sanders

   They've been close several times this year, but finally the Warriors broke the goose egg in the win column by defeating a tough Cloudland Highlander team.
   Chris Campbell played probably his best game of the year, leading the Warriors to a tight-fisted 63-58 win in Hampton's Christmas tournament at White-VanHuss Gym on Tuesday.
   Campbell pumped in a game-high 28 points and the Warriors held off a late second-half rally by the Highlanders.
   Cloudland had actually trailed by as many as 11 points, but behind an aggressive defense and some clutch baskets tied the Warriors early in the fourth quarter.
   Going into intermission the Warriors had built a seven-point advantage, 27-20. Campbell only had seven at the half, but Cody Cannon's eight points ignited the Warriors after he entered at the beginning of the second quarter.
   Cloudland had a balanced first-half scoring attack, as seven players dented the scoring column for Coach Ned Smith. Ricky Whitehead had four to lead the way.
   The Highlanders came out a determined team to begin the second half as they chopped the lead down to two, 39-37, at the end of three. Campbell would rack up a total of 10 in the quarter to keep the Warriors in front while Kevin Jones totaled six for the Highlanders.
   After exchanging a couple of buckets each at the start of the fourth, Tim Whaley of Happy Valley was hit with a technical foul sending Jones to the line, where he converted both shots.
   Caleb Denton then knotted the score at 43-43 with 6:21 remaining after a terrific steal created by a hustling Mark Byrd. The Warriors were not to be denied as Campbell put the team on his shoulders with 11 points in the final period to carry the Warriors to the win.
   "I feel like I just won my first basketball game as a head coach," stated an elated Coach Bayless after the contest. "Chris played his best game tonight and Jason Tittle came through with some big steals in the closing minutes to really help us."
   The Warriors' Cannon also had a stellar game, scoring eight points to go along with seven boards and one steal. Denton finished with 11 for Cloudland and Whitehead tallied 10 in the losing effort.