South Lakes sophomore Brandon Kamga scored 20 points against Oakton on Nov. 29.
Photo by Craig Sterbutzel.
Reston During the third quarter of a tightly contested boys’ basketball matchup on Nov. 29, Oakton fans started heckling South Lakes sophomore Brandon Kamga for failing to draw iron on a shot attempt, chanting “air ball” when the Seahawks point guard had the ball in his hands.
It would have been easy for the South Lakes 10th-grader to buckle under the embarrassment of being singled out by opposing fans. Instead, Kamga used the taunting as motivation and started to carry the Seahawks offense.
Kamga scored 11 of his game-high 20 points after being heckled by Oakton fans, but it wasn’t enough as the Cougars defeated the Seahawks, 51-49, during the first night of the Readers are Leaders Tip-Off at South Lakes High School.
“Last year, I was really mentally weak,” Kamga said after the game. “That was one of my goals, to improve on that. Once they were chanting, it just motivated me to play better.”
Kamga is in his second season on the varsity but is playing point guard for the first time. Head Coach Andrew Duggan said he saw some good things from Kamga and believes the 6-foot-3 sophomore has Division I potential.
“I feel like I have to step up this year. I feel like I’m a big part of this team and, as a captain, I need to . . . get us to play at a higher level.”
--- South Lakes sophomore Brandon Kamga
“He looked like a sophomore playing point for the first time,” Duggan said, “but I thought he responded well at times and I think it’s only going to get better for him as he continues to put good work in and make good decisions. As a new point guard, he’s learning on the job, so I think he’s going to make good progress.”
Kamga scored six points in the fourth quarter, including a lay-up that gave the Seahawks a 43-39 lead midway through the period.
“I feel like I have to step up this year,” he said. “I feel like I’m a big part of this team and, as a captain, I need to . . . get us to play at a higher level.”
Senior forward Junior Ebott (6-4) is South Lakes’ only returning starter. He scored six points and grabbed five rebounds against Oakton, including a putback late in the fourth quarter to give the Seahawks a 49-47 lead.
Senior guard Evan Keys (6-3) scored 10 points for South Lakes and 6-foot-5 junior center Ethan Clark added six. Duggan said he expects big things out of 6-foot-4 junior guard Clayton O’Neill.
South Lakes bounced back to beat Centreville the following night, 65-46, before losing to Osbourn Park, 54-49, on Dec. 4. The Seahawks (1-2) will travel to face Stone Bridge at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7.