By CRAIG HALL
CAMERON—Cameron had a tough time hanging on to the ball early in the Yellow Jackets’ district tournament finals here against Clayton.
But once the Jackets stopped turning the ball over, they were too much for the visitors in a 57-40 win.
The win sends Cameron into the regional tournament Thursday at 8 p.m. against second-ranked Wright City at Wilburton High School.
Cameron turned the ball over 16 times in the first half and led only 22-20 at the half. The Jackets added three more turnovers on their first three possessions of the second half and after a pair of free throws by Clayton’s Dylan Martin, Cameron led by two points.
The Jackets then turned stingy with the ball and only had three turnovers the rest of the game. Cameron quickly took control with an 11-2 run to lead 33-22 midway through the third quarter.
Dylan Poor got the run started with a basket and Ryan Carter got a steal, drove for a layup, was fouled and converted the conventional three-point basket for a 27-20 lead.
After a basket by Clayton’s Dustin Warren, Poor hit another layup, Justin Cox scored and Kenny Whitehead added a basket for the first double-digit lead.
A 5-0 run at the end of the third quarter and start of the final period pretty much clinched the win for the Jackets. Cox hit six straight free throws over the middle of the fourth quarter, his final one giving Cameron a 51-32 lead with 3:11 left.
Carter led Cameron with 25 points, including four 3-point baskets. Cox added 10 while Poor had eight. Whitehead and Austin Standridge each added seven points.
Martin and Dalton Little each had 11 for Clayton.