Bulldogs survive overtime to save spot at state
Published 11:40 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2015
By Bryce Phillips
They will be cleaning the Doghouse for weeks to come, after the Hampton Bulldogs squared off with the Meigs County Tigers for a substate game that had the crowd inside of Hampton High School going wild Tuesday night.
After an intense overtime scramble, the ’Dogs held on win, 88-80, to reserve a spot in the state class-A tournament in Murfreesboro for the second year in a row.
“That is one of our big time goals to go to state,” Hampton coach Ned Smith said. “It is just a big dream to get to go down and play in the big glass house.”
The teams went into overtime tied at 78. The Tigers attacked first as they sank two foul shots to go up 80-78. The ’Dogs quickly retaliated with a foul shot from Coby Jones to pull the game within one point. As the clock ticked down from 42 seconds, Hampton’s Cheyenne Camillo found room off a screen from Stone Hutchinson, and released a three pointer that ripped the net, putting the Bulldogs up 82-79. The gym erupted.
Camillo, who hit five threes for the night, said “That is the biggest three of my life.”
Hutchinson helped give Camillo the room he needed to sink the key three, and like everyone else he was pumped after the game.
“He is like a brother to me, man,” Hutchinson said about Camillo. “I said, ‘Coach, let’s do this. I’ll set the screen.’ That is how we win ballgames, by playing together. I am just so happy to be going back to ‘Boro.”
After the big shot, the ’Dogs rolled on from there hitting four free throws in a row. Coby Jones closed out the game by weaving through the defense until he landed the final shot to end the game.
Jones closed out the night with the game high of 32.
“I feel ecstatic right now,” Jones said. “Our fans and our players are just great. Coach had a great game plan coming in. We communicated throughout the whole game. We just knew that we all wanted it. We found it within ourselves to pull it out.”
At the buzzer, the Hampton fans poured onto the floor as confetti poured from the rafters.
A ladder was erected under one of the nets and one by one, the Bulldogs took turns cutting the net until the last cut brought it down.
Senior Stanley Valentine climbed to the top of the ladder and before snipping at the net, he took a second to adsorb the moment and to take a selfie.
In the first, the Dogs jumped out to a 10-4 lead after a 7-point run. However, the Tigers found the momentum to rush up and tie the game up at 10. After more back and forth play, the first quarter ended with the Bulldogs up 20-15.
Hampton came alive in the second as they orchestrated a 15-1 run to push out to a 16-point lead. However, that would not be the end of the Tigers’ night as they fought back into the game with a 12-point run. The half ended with the Dogs up 37-34.
In the third, the Dogs again climbed out to big 15-point lead, before the Tigers battled back to slash Hampton’s lead to just nine as the quarter ended with Hampton up 70-61.
In the fourth frame, the Tigers showed Hampton they wanted it as they posted 33 points in the single quarter to send the game into overtime.
Both teams hit 12 threes for the night.
Meigs County 80
Moore 25, Baker 20, Oliver 11, Smith 9, Meadows 7, Harris 6, Simmons 2
Jones 32, Valentine 19, Camillo 19, Norris 10, McClain 5, Hutchinson 3
Meigs County 15 19 11 33 2 — 80
Hampton 20 17 18 23 10 — 88
Three-point goals — MC 12 (Baker 3, Moore 2, Harris 1, Oliver 3, Smith 3) Hampton 12 (Camillo 5, Jones 4, Norris 2, McClain 1