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Girls Basketball: Spartans lean on Reagan-omics in win over Chicago Christian

By Randy Whalen
Correspondent

Oak Lawn’s Reagan Cameron continues to impress.

Cameron established a new career-high in points with 28 to help the Spartans defeat Chicago Christian 54-35 in the opening game of a girls/boys doubleheader on “Dunk on Cancer” night Jan. 31 in Oak Lawn.

The senior guard scored 14 points in each half on an array of shots. She’s been a top performer all season for the Spartans (15-11), who entered play this week with five wins in their past seven games.

So, she certainly must be getting some looks from colleges.

“I haven’t even been scouted,” Cameron said. “But I do hope that changes. I’d love to play basketball in college.”

Moraine Valley was in the Spartan Gym last Friday and did meet with Cameron afterward, and she has been in contact with Black Hawk College in the Quad Cities, but there has been no interest from four-year schools.

Cameron believes she knows why.

“I’m 5-foot-6,” the slightly built senior said. “But I mostly think it’s because I haven’t played AAU ball. But I’ve been on the varsity here for three years, so hopefully, some schools will call.”

Oak Lawn coach Mark Sevedge knows how hard Cameron has worked.

“She’s smaller – not a big, strong girl – but she’s a player,” he added. “She can score in different situations. She can shoot the 3-pointer well, gets to the rim, and can go to her left hand. That makes her tough to guard.”

That was on display against the Knights (10-17). Oak Lawn didn’t score until nearly five minutes into the game — on a layup by Cameron – and a low-scoring first quarter ended with the Spartans up 7-6. Chicago Christian regained the lead at 14-12 midway through the second quarter.

Cameron scored 12 points in the second quarter, seven of them in a 16-4 spurt that ended the half. She capped it off by gliding in for a layup at the buzzer as the Spartans took a 28-18 halftime lead.

“It’s the same thing, just instinct,” Cameron said of where she scores from. “I just know what is going to be open all the time.”

The score never got closer than 10 points in the second half. With the Spartans ahead 41-26 after three, Cameron hit back-to-back treys to open the fourth.

Cameron wasn’t sure what her varsity high is, but her previous high school high was 27, which she as a freshman member of the sophomore team.

“I was trying to get her 30 points,” Sevedge admitted of keeping Cameron in until three minutes remained in the game. “I didn’t want to look bad keeping her in that long, but it’s just that number.”

Senior forwards Sarah Saleh (eight points, seven rebounds) and Julia Janks (seven points), along with sophomore guard Mia Kennelly (seven points, seven rebounds) also contributed for the Spartans.

Junior forward Renee Powers (nine points) led the Knights. Junior guard Linda Holman and sophomore guard Jacqueline Voss added seven points apiece and senior center Kelsey Wolterink contributed six points and 10 rebounds.

Earlier in the week, Oak Lawn defeated Reavis 47-30 in a South Suburban Conference Red clash in Burbank. With the Rams imposing a diamond-and-one defense on Cameron, Saleh stepped up and scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

The game versus Oak Lawn was the fifth in a week for the Knights. They lost 45-36 at home to Oak Forest on Jan. 25, and that was followed by a 43-41 road loss on to Timothy Christian on Jan. 27. Two straight road victories came after that – 58-37 over Elmwood Park on Jan. 28 and 55-25 over Westmont on Jan. 30.

“This was our fourth game in five days and we just ran out of gas,” Chicago Christian coach Karl Frixen said. “We had been playing well, making strides, and playing good defense. But we took a step back here against Oak Lawn.

“Reagan Cameron was awesome for them. We knew we had to stop her and that was hard to do.”

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