High school basketball: When he let it fly, Stout left no doubt
Published 12:03 am Sunday, March 27, 2022
By Mike London
SALISBURY — Every shot Salisbury senior Cameron Stout takes looks like it’s going in.
He’s just one of those guys. He’s smooth. He’s balanced. He’s in rhythm. The swish that comes at the end of his shot is expected. It’s never a surprise.
“Cam Stout can shoot the cover off the ball,” Salisbury head coach Bryan Withers said. “He works his tail off and he spends a lot of time in the gym. He has great shooting fundamentals, very solid mechanics.”
The 6-foot-2 Stout, who averaged 19.8 points, is outstanding from the 3-point line, but he’s far from a one-trick pony.
He hit the boards for some double-doubles. He led a young team to 20 wins. He defended a variety of positions.
Stout is the Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year and the Post’s Rowan County Player of the Year.
Senior guard Quashawn Carpenter drilled 3-pointers and took over fourth quarters for North Rowan. Will Givens made heart-stopping shots for West Rowan. Tee Harris put up some mind-blowing rebounding numbers for East Rowan.
But Salisbury was the team that won championships. Rowan County Player of the Year came down to one of the two Salisbury stars — Stout or 6-foot-5 sophomore guard Jayden “Juke” Harris.
Both consistently crushed the scorebook. Both scored in double figures in all 25 Salisbury games.
Harris is incredibly exciting when he drives or soars and has a Division I future in front of him. He put up 23.1 points per game, the highest scoring average by a Hornet since Shamari Spears scored 27.3 per game in 2003. Harris used his length to pile up steals and he cashed in a solid percentage of his nearly 200 free-throw attempts.
But Stout had more rebounds and more assists.
Stout also was the higher-percentage shooter from the field.
Stout shot 70-for-181 from the 3-point line. That’s almost 39 percent. That’s deadly stuff at the high school level. Shooting 39 percent from 3 produces the same amount of points as shooting 58.5 percent from 2.
Stout also connected on 52 percent of his 2-point attempts. In other words, he was a sensational offensive option.
Stout moved up to the Salisbury varsity late in his freshman year and quickly produced several double-digit games, while playing with veterans such as Cam Gill and Zay Kesler.
He averaged 9.9 points per game as a sophomore and 12.6 in a junior season that was sliced in half by COVID.
Then he took a serious jump as a senior.
“Coach Withers called me aside before this season and said he was expecting a lot,” Stout said. “More than scoring, he needed leadership from me. We were going to be playing a lot of guards, so I was going to need to be able to play position from 1 to 5, I was going to have to rebound, and I was going to have to defend some bigger people. We have so many fast guards. I was mostly just trying to get the ball in the hands of those guys.”
But when the shots were there, Stout didn’t hesitate. He had as many as six 3-pointers in a game. He scored 20-plus 13 times.
“Senior Night against Lexington (Stout scored 28) stood out as a great memory for me and also the playoff game with Trinity because it was great to see so many of your guys step up and really play in the second half,” Stout said.
Another highlight of his season was his first conversation with Davidson-Davie Community College coaches.
“They talked to me a few times, let me know that they were following me, let me know what I was doing well and what I needed to work on,” Stout said. “That was pretty big. That let me know that I was going to be recruited. It let me know there were going to be basketball opportunities after high school.”
Recently, Stout got an offer from Pfeiffer University. He hasn’t committed anywhere yet.
Stout scored 474 points during his first three varsity seasons and produced 495 this season — one of the top 10 scoring seasons in school history — for a total of 979.
He basically fell one game short of a 1,000-point career.
He wasn’t lucky in that regard. He missed two games early in his COVID-shortened junior season with an Achilles tendon injury. This season’s Christmas Tournament championship game was canceled. Salisbury won the draw with Thomasville and got a first-round bye for the CCC tourney, but that also cost the Hornets an easy game.
Stout isn’t losing any sleep over the near miss on the milestone.
There were a lot more makes than misses, and his 979 points put him 13th in program history, just ahead of notable scorers such as Doug Campbell, Leonard Owens and Robbie Jefferies and right behind Salisbury-Rowan Hall of Famer Woodrow Boler. That’s good company.
Stout is the first Rowan County Player of the Year for the Salisbury boys since Darien Rankin in 2011.
“I tell my guys all the time that if they want to play in college, they can’t like basketball — they’ve got to love basketball,”Withers said. “Cam Stout will do well. He’s one of those guys who loves the game.”
And he can shoot the cover off the ball.
Eleven Rowan players were named to the All-Central Carolina Conference or All-South Piedmont Conference teams.
Those 11 are all-county, plus two — Levon Jacobs, West Rowan’s leading rebounder, and Jay Howard, Carson’s leading scorer.
Cameron Stout, Salisbury Sr. — CCC Player of the Year
Juke Harris, Salisbury So. — Had several humongous games, including a 35-point outburst vs. North Rowan
Quashawn Carpenter, North Sr. — Averaged 13.0 points, while directing the Cavaliers to 19 wins
Tee Harris, East Jr. — Mr. Double-Double, averaged 14.6 points
Will Givens, West So. — Beat the buzzer several times, averaged 13.6 points per game to lead Falcons
Mike Geter, Salisbury So. — Got the ball where it needed to go for the Hornets, scored when necessary
Dylan Valley, East Jr. — Getting better every year, No. 3 scorer in the county with 15.9 per game
Amir Alexander, North So. — Lots of 3-pointers and rebounds, averaged 10.2 points
Derrick Hanson, North Sr. — Tough, athletic forward, also averaged 10.2 points
Cameron Burleyson, Carson Jr. — Most consistent player for the Cougars, who got all six of their wins in county games
Jay Howard, Carson Sr. — Scored a team-high 10.5 points per game
Levon Jacobs. West So. — Scoring was up and down, but the long and active 6-foot-8 youngster always rebounded
Jacob Ritchie, South Sr. — Missed the early games with football injury, but averaged 11.2 points and led the Raiders in rebounds