KINNIKINNICK — “I did it for you.”
Five words held a world of meaning Friday night between Cam and Beth Evans.
Midway through the second quarter of Zane Trace’s 58-38 win over Adena — a victory that allowed the Pioneers to claim just their second Gold Ball in program history — Cam made time stand still, even if it was just for a moment, and whispered those five words.
Coming into the night, the junior needed eight points to reach career number 1,000.
When he drove through the lane, absorbed contact and hit a field goal while being fouled at the 3:09 mark, he became just the second junior in school history to join the 1,000 club and experienced a moment with his mother that he’ll never forget.
When he rose from the hardwood, he was met by a standing ovation and a wave of cheers. But when he took the ball to his mom … she was the only person he realized was in the gym.
“Being able to give her that ball and hug her for that time, honestly, meant the world to me,” Evans said of the moment. “We both kind of teared up a little and she just told me how proud of me she was and how much she loved me. I told her, ‘I did it for you.’ At that moment, time kind of stopped and it felt like it was just me and her.”
All the while, parents, coaches of both teams and fans were still standing, voicing their support.
“At the beginning of the game, Adena did a great job of face-guarding and making it really tough to get shots where i wanted to. Coach [Gary Kellough] realized that and started to run some backdoor plays for me and, at the time, I knew I was two points away,” Evans said. “Colby [Swain] threw me a great pass and i was fortunate enough to make the layup. I was on the ground for a while but when i got up, I saw so many signs and people standing and clapping for me … it gave me butterflies.”
Cam ended the night with 29 points, putting his career total at 1,021. With the rest of his junior year and his entire senior season left to play, he’s got a real shot at eventually surpassing Jeff Reisinger as Zane Trace’s all-time leading scorer. Reisinger, a 1970 grad, scored 1,646 points.
But for right now, Cam is simply focused on the task at hand … which is extending the Pioneers’ season as long as possible.
“Next to come is a strong tournament run. We kick it off in the sectional play next Saturday and we need to come out strong and get good momentum, leading deeper into the tourney,” he said.
And, of course, he’s got some personal goals he’d like to grab as well.
“I plan for us to go very deep in the tournament and to be the last team playing in Ross County. That’s what I want first,” Evans said. “It is another goal of mine to get Player of the Year and make a [all-district or state] team in the postseason.”
Evans, who’s averaging 25.2 points, four rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game, will certainly be looked to the charge going forward.
But no matter where the rest of this season takes him, or the rest of his career for that matter, he’ll always have a stable of supporters in his corner. That group includes his mom, who he says is both his number one fan and his best friend.
“All the support surrounding me has been unbelievable. My teammates push me everyday to get better in practice and they all accept their roles so well. The coaching staff has been a huge help this year, letting me play free and easy and letting me get to the spots,” Evans said. “Mom has been the biggest supporter of them all. She is my number one fan at all times, she pushes me on days she doesn’t feel like pushing herself and she does so much for me on and off the court, making sure my head is on straight and everything like that. She means the world to me.”
Evans’ top-seeded Pioneers get back to action at 7 p.m., Feb. 23 at Southeastern High School in a Division II sectional final where they await the winner of Hillsboro and Miami Trace.
A win sends Zane Trace to a district semifinal at the Convo and, as you might expect, the Pioneers fully intend on making travel arrangements.
“We plan to keep rolling,” Evans said. “We just need to keep working hard and show everyone how far we can actually make it.”