The Northwood Academy girls basketball team hosts Hilton Head Prep today in a game that could be a preview of the SCISA Class AAA state championship. The showdown will allow freshman Amber Campbell to showcase her immense talent.
Campbell, who plays shooting guard for Northwood Academy, is averaging 25.8 points per game thanks to 57 percent shooting from the field. Hardly a one-dimensional player, she averages 8.6 rebounds and 6.0 steals per game.
She surpassed 1,000 points for her career Tuesday night against Porter-Gaud, and the sky is the scoring limit for a player who tallied 564 points as an eight-grader. She needed 29 points to reach the milestone. She was held in check the first half, but scored 22 points in the second half.
"She's as good a player as I've ever seen," said Presley Singleton, who is in her first year as head coach at the school after a decade as an assistant and junior varsity coach. "I can't say enough about that child. I'm impressed with her work ethic on the basketball court and in the classroom."
Northwood enters the game with a 16-1 record and the No. 2 ranking in SCISA. Hilton Head Prep, the defending state champ, is 17-1 and ranked No. 1.
The teams played three times last year and the Dolphins topped Northwood all three times, including the SCISA title game.
"We lost by six, seven and five points," Singleton said. "The games could have gone either way. Hilton Head Prep is an outstanding team. They have four of their five starters back, so they are the team to beat."
Northwood Academy's only loss this season came in the Porter-Gaud holiday tournament in December. Campbell had flu-like symptoms and was a non-factor in the loss to Asheville (N.C.) School.
She will be 100 percent tonight, and fans can watch Campbell's outstanding shooting ability, dribbling skills and rebounding prowess.
"She finishes strong," Singleton said. "She's really worked on her jump shot because all she did last year was drive."
"Last year was her first year on the varsity," Singleton said. "If SCISA would allow seventh-graders to play on the varsity, she would have started. She was that good. She's already getting a lot of looks -- North Carolina and South Carolina. The Miami coach came up to watch her work out. She's going to a big-time school."
Campbell has ample support. Jasmine Butler, who also plays guard, is averaging 10 points per game and defends the other team's top scorer. Alyssa Kinsey, who transferred from Berkeley High, is very athletic and continues to become more refined on the court.
Sam Chubb and Danel Phillips are very athletic as well. Both girls played on the Chargers' state championship softball team. Emily Hoisington is another player Singleton can count on.