Wittenberg had a senior-dominated team a year ago. Now it has a senior — as in one senior.
When Eli Pavlatos left the team earlier this season, that left Cam Walton as the Tigers’ lone senior. When senior night comes around in February, he’ll have the whole court to himself.
Walton said his class once included 11 other players. Among them was David Hieber, who was a major contributor as a freshman but left Wittenberg after an injury-plagued sophomore season. Shawnee’s Justin Williams, Clark County’s Mr. Basketball as a senior, was also in that class.
For various reasons, the only player left from that class is Walton.
“It’s a pretty weird feeling,” Walton said. “It can be lonely at times. You try to make the best of it. I hung out with (last year’s seniors) a lot. Not having them around is a little different. Things change. You’ve just got to make the best of it.”
Walton, a 6-foot-1 wing from Anthony Wayne High School in Waterville, Ohio, missed three games after injuring his knee, but after a cortisone shots, he’s back on the court and feeling good going into today’s 3 p.m. game at Denison. He has 11 points in the last two games, wins over Oberlin and Kenyon, and has made 3-of-5 3-pointers.
That’s an improvement over his shooting before his injury. He was 7-of-25 (28 percent) in the first nine games. Last year, he shot 30 percent (16-of-52).
“For some reason, I feel more confident now,” Walton said. “It definitely helped hitting my first shot when I came in.”
Walton was one of the team’s best shooters two seasons ago. He was shooting 48 percent from 3-point range (32-of-67) when he suffered a season-ending ACL tear midway through the season. He returned last year to average 2.4 points in 28 games.
Being sidelined this year, even for just three games, was tough because it’s his last chance to play.
“It was hard knowing I could help the team and not being able to,” Walton said. “It was best holding off and letting myself heal so I could come back.”