Sports Person of the Week
Craig Crashed the Glass for Guilford Girls’ Basketball
Junior center Camryn Craig came alive in the second half of the year for Guilford girls’ basketball by snagging 97 rebounds in 10 games, while also averaging three blocks a night, to help the Indians finish 12-8 on the regular season following a 4-6 start. (Photo courtesy of Camryn Craig)
The Guilford girls’ basketball squad saw a revitalization in the second half of its season and a big reason for that turnaround was the emergence of Camryn Craig as a force on the glass.
Camryn, who’s been playing basketball for “as long as [she] can remember,” recently completed her junior year as a center for the Indians. Her club was looking at a 4-6 record halfway through the campaign, but Camryn and company bounced back to go 8-2 for the rest of the regular season. Camryn reeled in 97 rebounds during that span to push her to an average of nine boards a night on the year for Guilford, which wound up winning a game in both the SCC and state tournaments.
“Something just clicked within our team at that point in the season and I think we just started working better. We had better calling for the ball by our guards and we just started working together a lot better,” says Camryn, who also averaged three blocks a night in that same 10-game frame. “When a shot goes up, I just worry about getting my timing down with jumping for the rebounds and making sure not to jump too early or late.”
Camryn had to overcome a personal health hurdle with an injured thumb early in the year. Then in the second half, Guilford had to deal with a stretch that featured five games in six days, although the Indians turned that into a positive by getting themselves in a groove.
“At first, my thumb was injured, but it started getting better as the year went on, so my confidence grew on the court,” Camryn says. “When we started the year, we had a lot of practices in between games, but I think having a lot of those games in a row definitely helped us with getting into the games.”
Head Coach Bob Welsh was proud of Camryn for displaying her late-season prowess. One of Camryn’s top performances came in the Indians’ win over Hillhouse in the first round of SCCs, where she scored eight points to go along with a dozen boards and six blocks.
“First off, she is an outstanding student-athlete, highly respected by her teammates both on and off the court,” says Welsh. “She improved dramatically over the course of the season. In the second half of this year, Camryn’s game began to flourish in many aspects. She was dominant as a rebounder and intimidating as a shot blocker. In our SCC Tournament game on the road against Hillhouse, Camryn excelled in all phases, leading us to a thrilling 51-44 victory.”
Guilford had three meetings against rival and eventual SCC champion Hand this winter and went from taking a 26-point defeat to playing much-more competitive contests in the ensuing rematches. Camryn feels that the extent to which the Indians progressed in a month speaks volumes about their season.
“A huge accomplishment for us this year was going from losing to Hand by almost 30 points earlier in the season to almost beating them later in the regular season and again in SCCs,” says Camryn. “We showed them in those two later meetings that we definitely didn’t run out of gas.”
The Indians are parting ways with several invaluable seniors following their 14-win run. However, they’re also returning multiple underclass athletes who Camryn believes can help lay the foundation for even greater success in 2017.
“The seniors this year certainly made the season a lot of fun and they were very influential on the rest of the team,” says Camryn, who thanks this year’s entire senior class. “We have a lot of potential with some young kids that showed this year how good they can be as we also showed how good we can be as a team.”