First half sets pace for Lady Bulldogs

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, December 23, 2014

After a dominant first half, the Lady Bulldogs were able to grab a 40-20 victory from a down Johnson County team.

Garland-Web“Hampton did a good job,” Lady Longhorns head coach Todd Whittemore said. “Their girls played really hard. We had some girls quit so we are kind of a hodge podge, we had two girls that were injured, and are just coming back. So, we are playing with a, basically, different line up than we have been playing with all year. And when you do that it doesn’t also flow really well. So, we are just struggling right now. But it’s a work in progress.”

Hampton was led by two 8-point games from Hope Bridgeman and Tatum Street. Kim Swearinger also contributed seven points for the night as she returned to the court after being out with an injury.

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The first was extremely set in Hampton’s favor as the teams went to the locker room with the score set at 27-3 in favor of the Lady Bulldogs.

“We guarded them pretty well,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Bud Hazelwood said about the first half. “We started out in zone,  but we switched to man about halfway through the first quarter.”

The Lady Bulldogs took advantage of their large lead and rotated in a lot of players that haven’t got to see a lot of playing time this year.

“I got some into the varsity game that had never been before,” Hazelwood said. “Maddie Nueman got in. Kenzie Hill. Of course Tori Miller and Hope Bridgeman got to play quite a bit tonight. We dress everybody we have, and we played every body, freshman on down. You don’t get to do that too often.”

The second half saw the Lady ’Horns pick up steam as they slowly closed the margin, scoring eight points in the third compared to zero in the second.

“It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that we came out and started playing,” Whittemore said. “It is not easy to coach and it is not easy for the girls to play in this situation.”

As the teams battled in the second half, Hampton began to foul frequently, sending the Longhorns to the foul line 12 times. However,  Johnson County did not capitalize on its times at the free throw line, while only making 8 of 21 shots in the second half.

“We were in the Christmas spirit,” Hazelwood said. We were giving it away a lot tonight. Giving it away and foul was all we did in the second half.”

The Lady Longhorns are going through a tough time, but Coach Whittemore is not letting that get his team down.

“We just have to stick together,” Whittemore said.  “If we keep a positive attitude and work hard it will get better. Guess what? When they get out into the real world they are going to see. That the real word will do this to ya. We will have to deal with up and downs, just like in basketball. “

Johnson County 20

Jennings 2, Cretsinger 1, Tolley 15, Lay 2.

Hampton 40

Sweringer 7, Miller 2, Neuman 1, Bridgeman 8, Street 8, Grubbs 2, Tuelle 6, Garland 6.

Hampton 15 12 10 3 — 40

Johnson County 3 0 8 9 — 20