JEFFERSON — Jack Campion got wherever he wanted. There’s nothing the Jefferson Eagles could do.
Combine that with 15 first-half turnovers and that spelled doom for the Eagles.
Campion scored 16 of his game-high 22 points and the Milton Red Hawks pulled away for an easy 79-57 victory over Jefferson in a non-conference boys basketball game at Jefferson High School on Monday night.
“He’s unpredictable because he has so many moves,” Jefferson senior guard Caleb Stelse said. “He’s quick. He gets to the rim but you don’t know what he’s going to do. If you try to take a charge — euro-step and finish. He drives in and dishes to wide open guys because he’s so good.
“We tried to face guard him and it didn’t work because he hurt us in the first half. He’s a really good player and we couldn’t contain him tonight.”
As Campion knifed his way into the paint, he was able to kick it to the perimeter where Evan Jordahl made three 3-pointers and dump it off in the post to Ethan Burrows who scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half.
As a team, Milton had five 3-pointers in the first half to help build a 55-32 advantage.
“(Campion) has no problem sharing the ball and his teammates see that and know that,” said Alex Olson, who is in his fourth year as head coach in Milton. “He can get to the rim so well but he’s not stubborn in the sense that he knows that when he draws two, he’s done his job. This year especially, he trusts the guys next to him to really make plays.
“These guys are making plays around him and he sees that and I think he wants to reward them for it.”
Senior James Monogue scored 19 points to lead Jefferson and Haygen Miller made three 3s to finish with nine points.
It’s on the defensive end where Milton benefited from some Jefferson carelessness, but the Red Hawks (6-5, 3-3 Badger South) also sped up the Eagles (3-6, 3-3 Rock Valley) with ball pressure to induce turnovers as the game started getting out of hand.
“Credit to them, Coach Olson has them playing at a high level,” Jefferson coach Greg Jefferies said. “I can’t say they’re knocking off teams because they’re playing well. We weren’t strong with the ball and they were there to take advantage of it. They deserve credit, but we need to be stronger with the ball.”
Added Olson, “That was kind of our game plan going into it. We felt like we had really good length, really good quickness. That’s been a strength for us in a lot of games. When you can pressure the other team come from the help side and get steals, it usually turns into layups. That was kind of the game plan going into tonight and I think we executed it really well.”
Milton came into the game four days removed from a 63-62 victory over Madison Edgewood. All three losses in the Badger South have been by 10 points or fewer.
“It’s another step. We can play with anyone and I think we know that now, but putting together a W and really executing late in a game was a step for us and our program,” Olson said. “Not everything went well on Thursday and not everything went right tonight, but we were able to put it together, find a way to win and regroup ourselves back to where we started and that’s defending.
“That’s been our bread and butter a little bit.”
Milton continues its season at home against Monroe on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. Jefferson will look to regroup against Evansville (5-4, 3-3) on the road Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
“To look for a silver lining, I was proud of the way we played in the second half,” Jefferies said. “We could have put our tail between our legs and given up, but I didn’t see that. I challenged them to go out and play one possession at a time in the second half and they ended up winning the second half.”
MILTON 79, JEFFERSON 57
Red Hawks 55 24 — 79
Eagles 32 25 — 57
Milton (fg ftm-fta pts) — Campion 10 1-2 22, Jordahl 3 0-0 9, Hughes 1 0-0 2, Burrows 5 2-2 12, Widner 2 0-0 5, Burdette 2 0-0 4, Hoefner 3 2-2 9, Bothun 2 2-2 8, Kudrna 4 0-0 8. Totals — 32 7-8 79.
Jefferson — Miller 3 0-0 9, Rechlin 1 0-1 3, Martin 1 0-0 3, Fetherston 3 2-6 8, Hoffman 2 0-1 4, Stelse 1 2-2 4, Monogue 8 2-4 19, Vogel 3 1-2 7. Totals — 22 7-16 57.
3-point goals — M (Campion, Jordahl 3, Widner, Hoefner, Bothun 2) 8, J (Miller 3, Rechlin, Martin, Monogue) 6. Total fouls — M 19, J 11.