By Robert Wilson
Photos by Chris Todd
Jackson Prep senior point guard Cam Brent has been spending a lot of extra time in the gym these days, gearing up for a final push in his high school career.
His push was more like a bulldozer Tuesday night against rival Jackson Academy.
The 5-foot-7 Brent scored a season-high 33 points, including 13 in the first quarter, to carry Prep to a 56-43 victory over JA in a MAIS Class 6A game at JA.
Prep improved to 21-4 overall and 5-1 in league play, second behind Madison-Ridgeland Academy. Prep plays host to MRA Friday night. JA dropped to 20-9 and 3-3, 0-2 against Prep this season.
Brent – a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team – was on fire Tuesday. He started off blazing, with 13 points in the first quarter to ignite Prep to a 17-7 first-quarter cushion. He made 7 of 10 shots from the field and 6 of 7 shots from the free throw line for 21 in the first half as Prep jumped to a 34-17 halftime lead. Brent finished with 11 of 17 shots from the field, 10 of 11 shots from the line, 1 steal, 1 rebound and only 1 turnover and played all 32 minutes.
“I’ve been in the gym a lot, trying to get better and improve my game,” Brent said. “My high school career in winding down and I want to finish strong. We wanted to put an emphasis tonight and getting off to a fast start. I wanted to find the fire, the spark, to get us going tonight. I focused on knocking down my shots and tried to use my quickness to my advantage.”
“Cam had a spectacular night from the start,” Prep coach Tim Wise said. “He utilized his quickness to free himself for quality scoring opportunities in an important league and rival game. Our overflow student crowd got the juices flowing for Cam and our team.”
Brent now has 1,431 career points at Prep, second now only in career points at Prep to Whit Hughes, who scored 1,612 points from 1990-93. Brent recently passed Mackey White (1,346 from 1977-80) and David Rula (1,340 from 1990-94).
“Cam is a special player and inch for inch and pound for pound, he is an elite player across the state,” Wise said. “The game of basketball is predicated on quickness and Cam’s abilities as a guard to stop and start and change direction, allow him to accomplish great things on the court. Even with his size, Cam never really puts himself in adverse situations and spots because of the hours mastering the craft of ball handling skills.”
Brent is averaging 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals this season. He is shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 86.6 percent from the line.
Brent averaged 15.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists and led Prep to a 15-13 record, an MAIS Class 5A runner-up finish and an Overall quarterfinal finish last season as a junior. He shot 46 percent from 3-point range (75 of 167). Brent scored a school record 43 points, including an MAIS record 12 3-pointers (second most in MAIS history and most since 1987), against Parklane last season. He made the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson fourth team. Brent averaged a team-high 12.3 points and led Prep to a 24-11 record and an Overall Tournament runner-up finish as a sophomore.
Brent – son of Jackson State men’s basketball coach Wayne Brent – has offers from Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Itawamba CC, Mississippi Delta CC, Hinds CC, and Holmes CC.
“Cam was exceptional. He hit tough shots and got to the free throw line,” JA coach Josh Brooks said. “I thought Prep came out with more intensity than we did, and we dug ourselves a hole that was too much to come back from against such a good ball handling team. This conference is the best it’s ever been, and this was just another game to prepare us for the tournament.”
Josh Holman, a 6-6 junior guard, had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Merritt Nations, a 5-9 junior guard, had 15 points and Graham Stevens, a 6-7 senior forward, had 10 points for JA.
Prep and Brent now will focus their attention on defending MAIS Overall champion MRA, 27-3 overall and 6-0 in conference play. Prep almost pulled an upset in their earlier meeting at MRA, losing 53-52. MRA hasn’t lost to an MAIS team since it lost to Simpson in the 2020 Overall semifinals, a stretch of 44 consecutive games.
Said Brent: “We’ve got to get ready for the big bad wolf.”