Taking it to another level

Talladega center Camille Buckhanon claimed her second Player of the Week selection of the 2017-18 season after an MVP performance in the Talladega County Tournament.

Camille Buckhanon was selected The Daily Home Player of the Week after leading Talladega High School’s girls basketball team to a 4-0 record in a seven-day period. This is the second time this season that Buckhanon has been selected Player of the Week.

“Once again, I have to thank God, my teammates,” Buckhanon said. “It is an honor that I can’t take for granted. I am honored every time that I am nominated for it. It just hypes me up.”

The Memphis signee averaged 25 points and 15 rebounds in four wins for the Lady Tigers.

Buckhanon closed with 22 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, three steals and two assists against Lincoln in a Talladega County Tournament semifinal Wednesday, Jan. 24.

She finished with 31 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks against Lincoln on senior night Friday. In the county championship game against Childersburg, she collected 22 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks. Buckhanon was named the MVP of the tournament for the fourth consecutive season.

“I had to produce for my team. I couldn’t do it without them,” Buckhanon said. “‘Play hard’ is our motto in the game. We did that and we won the county again. It is an honor to win the county tournament, and I am proud that we were able to do it my senior year. We are going to try very hard to get to state.”

Talladega head coach Jannie Keith was proud of her 6-foot-3 center’s latest accomplishment. Keith said Buckhanon has taken her game to another level recently.

“I have a player that is really growing up,” Keith said. “She has been a leader on and off the floor here lately. Right now, she has some kind of bug, but she continues to play and put up big numbers. She is trying to be the best that I have always wanted her to be on the floor. If she continues with that, I think Camille is going to do some great things here and on the secondary level also. I just can’t say enough on the way Camille is playing right now.”

The Class 5A, No. 4-ranked Lady Tigers are on a 10-game winning streak going into tonight’s game at Anniston. In their first meeting this season, Talladega fell to Lady Bulldogs 57-46 on Nov. 30. Buckhanon said it is going to be vital for the Lady Tigers to get off to a fast start tonight.

“We are going to have to play the first two quarters and get the lead out,” Buckhanon said. “We can’t play around, we have to be serious, we have to play defense. Playing defense is our No. 1 priority; we have to make our layups and free throws. You have to go out there and play hard.”

As the regular season comes to a close tonight and tournament play begins Monday, Keith said she needs Buckhanon to continue to be a dominant force on both ends of the court.

“I really need for Camille to keep putting up the numbers that she is putting up,” Keith said. “Last night, we played Oxford, and she almost outscored Oxford by herself. She had 35 points, and they only scored 43.

“I need Camille to still believe in her mind and in her heart that she is a true post player and a dominating player. She has to have in her mind that she can’t be stopped. She has to really believe and know that she can’t be stopped.”