CLINTON — Camanche proved it can win when standout sophomore Cam Soenksen isn’t his usual self.
With Soenksen struggling Monday night, several teammates stepped up with key contributions to help rally the Indians past host Prince of Peace 85-71 in a non-conference boys basketball game at Central Catholic Auditorium. The win completed a sweep after the Camanche girls beat the Irish 86-28 in the first game of the doubleheader.
“It tells other teams anybody can step up on our team,” Caleb Delzell, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, said of the boys win. “Cam can have an off night. Someone will step up.”
Teammate Evan Hall added: “I think it gives our team more confidence. It helps give other guys more confidence. It helps with team chemistry.
The contributions from Delzell, Hall, Jaxon White and others didn’t surprise Indians point guard Dev Patel, the team’s No. 2 scorer on the year.
“I trust them,” said Patel, who finished with 14 points, two below his average. “That’s what it’s going to take. Me and Cam are not going to be on all the time.”
White led the Indians with 17 points, and Delzell added 16 as Camanche improved to 8-3 on the season with its fourth consecutive win. Soenksen scored just five points, all in the first half.
“(Cam) was battling illness all day and wasn’t himself,” Camanche Coach Josh Davis said of Soenksen, who leads the Indians with almost 21 points a game. “Having a lot of guys step up is nice.”
His teammates were ready to fill the void on offense.
“Coming in, I knew I had to step up,” Delzell said.
Even though he didn’t score much, Soenksen still contributed. His lob feed set up Patel for a layup that stretched the lead to 65-61. After Kadion Larson scored for Prince of Peace (6-7), Delzell and White scored back-to-back baskets. The Indians’ lead never dipped below four again, and they stretched out the advantage over the final three minutes.
“We have to learn to finish games,” Prince of Peace Coach Gerry Murphy said. “It was an exciting game, a tournament atmosphere, and fun for the kids.”
And, for much of the game the Irish enjoyed a lead.
“They gave us everything they had,” Davis said.
A 3-point basket by Patrick Mulholland broke a 2-2 tie, and Prince of Peace led the rest of the first quarter. Mulholland capped a 7-0 run with another 3-pointer to make it 14-6, and the lead reached 25-14 on a basket by Michael Matthew. The Irish closed the quarter with a basket by Larson that made it 27-16.
Mulholland scored to open the second quarter, but the Irish then went more than three minutes without scoring. Camanche responded with 13 consecutive points to pull even, and the teams then had two more ties and seven lead changes over the next 2:07.
The Irish led 41-39 at the half and maintained the lead most of the third quarter. The Indians took a 60-59 lead on two Patel free throws with 34.4 seconds left, but Conner Williams scored at the buzzer to put Prince of Peace up 61-60 heading into the final period.
That’s when Hall made his offensive contribution.
He scored the first points of the fourth quarter, tossing in a 3-point basket from the left side that put Camanche on top to stay, 63-61.
“It felt good,” he said. “Dev gave me a good pass. I was open to shoot it, and it turned out OK.”
The girls game was never in doubt, as Camanche stormed in front quickly.
The Indians (9-3) made their first two shots — 3-point baskets by Hanna Nissen and Marly Bussa — for a 6-0 lead.
Moments later, a Nissen layup started a 9-0 run that pushed the lead to 15-2. Lefebure converted four consecutive free throws during the run, and Sami Puckett capped it with a 3-point basket.
Camanche continued to score in bursts and led 26-9 after one quarter and 46-23 at halftime. The continuous clock came into effect in third quarter, when the Indians outscored the Irish 22-2.
All five Camanche starters finished in double digits, led by Bussa with 17 points. Lefebure added 16, Nissen finished with 15, Puckett had 13 and Madi Parson chipped in with 10. Anabel Blount led Prince of Peace with 10 points.