Wright's Value City Arena Debut Is Successful

The first time he took the floor at Value City Arena, Ohio State verbal commit Cameron Wright weathered some cold shooting early but finished with a team-high 19 points in victory at the seventh annual Scholastic Play-by-Play Classic in Columbus.

After the junior and his Cleveland Benedictine squad finished off Canal Winchester 64-52 Saturday afternoon, he had to worry about a different kind of weather.

A winter storm dropped about a foot of snow on northeast Ohio, a development that first put the trip down to Ohio's capital city in jeopardy then assured the Bengals would need to make a quick exit in order to get home before conditions worsened.

That meant he would probably not get a chance to see any sites or visit with anyone at his future home, but before he left, he gave a peak at some of his skills while also leaving little doubt he still has some of work to do over the next season and a half before he dons the scarlet and gray.

"I'm very versatile," he said. "I'm confident in my game. I can play a little bit of the 1, the 2, the 3. Coach even had me playing the big man today. Wherever Coach Matta needs me when I get here, I'll do it. I'm a team player. Whatever it takes to win, that's what I'll do."

Against the Indians, he had a lackluster first half Saturday. A zone defense kept him mostly on the perimeter, and he made two quick baskets before going scoreless for most of the first two quarters.

At the break, he had just four points on 2-for-10 shooting that include a pair of three-point misses. He snagged seven rebounds but had no other stats to show for his 13 minutes of work.

The second half was another story.

The long-armed 6-3 guard, rated a three-star prospect by Scout, hit 4 of 5 three-pointers and 5 of 11 field goals overall to tally 12 points.

He grabbed three more rebounds to finished with a double-double and had a pair of steals as well.

He had several empty trips to the basket, indicating he has some work to do as a finisher, but Wright's jump shot was smooth, the fruit of a year's worth of labor.

"I'm really comfortable with it," he said of his jumper. "All summer and all fall my coaches were in the gym with me. It's coming along."

Bengals coach Rob Stircula felt his team was flat in the first half.

The Indians held a 21-19 lead at the break but could not keep up with a third-quarter Bengal onslaught.

"In the second half we really got energized and started playing our basketball," Stircula said.

"It started with more intensity with our defense getting after it, face-guarding and putting pressure on them. We got some easy buckets in transition so then they had to come out and extend a little more in the zone and we were able to find the holes and penetrate and score there."

Wright was in the middle of the third quarter success, when the Bengals outscored the Indians 26-18.

He hit a pair of three-pointers and set up teammate Derek Jackson for another one in transition.

"Cam just makes big plays for us," Stircula said. "He got on the glass finally and got a double-double there, so that helped."

Jackson earned most valuable player honors for Benedictine (7-2). A 6-1 junior point guard who committed to Central Michigan earlier this week, Jackson had 17 points and seven assists.

Darian Cartharn led Canal Winchester (7-3) with 16 points and seven rebounds and was named the Indians' MVP.

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