Fourth -quarter push not enough for ‘Dogs

Published 5:14 pm Thursday, March 12, 2015

by Bryce Phillips

Star Staff

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MURFREESBORO—After a fourth quarter fight, the Hampton Bulldogs could not hold on, dropping their first-round matchup with the Union City Golden Tornadoes 57-53 Thursday during the TSSAA BlueCross Basketball Championships held on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.WEB1

“Our kids played super hard,” Hampton coach Ned Smith said. “. . . Our kids did not quit.”

Coming into the fourth frame, Hampton trailed the Tornadoes 40-30. Union City’s Parker Stewart struck first with a layup, extending the gap to 12. With 6:16 left in the period, Hampton’s Stone Hutchinson sunk a three that brought the Bulldogs’ cheering section alive. Hutchinson’s trifecta would slash Union’s lead to six. Shortly after, Coby Jones found Cheyenne Camillo open, and Camillio did not waste the opportunity as he busted a three to cut Union City’s lead to just three. However, back to back layups from Union would push the gap back to seven.

Camillo had three triples in the final period as he recorded 13 points for the game.

As the clocked ticked down to 2:13, Hampton’s Stanley Valentine made a lay up and one to pull Union’s lead down to four. Back to back trips to the charity stripe by Camillo and Adam McClain allowed the Bulldogs to get within two of the Golden Tornadoes. However, with less than a minute left in the game, the Bulldogs could not turn Union over as the Tornados held on from the foul line.
“We had a little lull there. . . Coach Ned Smith said. “But our kids kept making big shots. We played a good team, but our kids did not quit. “

In Bulldog fashion, Hampton laid on the defensive pressure throughout the game, causing Union to turn the ball over on 16 occasions.

WEB2“I thought our half-court trap did really well,” coach Smith said. “We got some steals on it. But when you do that, you take some chances and they got some layups off it late in the game.”
Hutchinson led the Bulldogs with 16 points, going 5 of 8 in field goal attempts. He made 4 of 5 free throws during the matchup.

“Stone stepped up and played really well today,” Smith said. “He shot real well. He made some good passes. He played well on defense”

Valentine ended the game with a double-double as he put up 11 points and pulled down 10 boards

In the first frame, the teams battled back and forth until Hampton grabbed the lead 11-10 at the end of the period. The second frame saw the Golden Tornadoes swirl back on top as the teams went to the locker room with the score set at 24-18 Union City.

Despite the loss, Hampton showed Union City that they can play with them, Valentine said.

“About two weeks ago when we found out we were going to play Union, a lot of people thought we were going to get ran out of the gym,” Valentine said. “They said, ‘Hampton is a little school, Hampton is this, Hampton is that.’ But what a lot of people do not understand about Hampton is that everybody on this team is like brothers. We don’t care who it is we are playing. We are all playing for each other.”

The loss comes at the end of a season that saw the Bulldog’s win both the district and regional championships, while maintainingWEB3 a 28-8 record. And when the dust had settled after Thursday’s battle, Union City’s coach Shane Sisco knew his squad had played the Bulldogs he was expecting them to play.

“I had tons of respect for those guys coming in,” he said. “We knew coming in it was going to be a battle. We knew that Jones, Valentine, and Camillo could really play. We had seen them on film. . . We knew they could really shoot it.”

Hampton 53

Hutchinson 16, Camillo 13, Valentine 11, Jones 10, McClain 3

Union City 57

Simpson 17, Stewart 17, Stockdale 10, DeBerry 9, Sisco 4

Hampton 11 7 12 23 — 53

Union City 10 14 16 17 — 57

Three-point goals— H 5 (Camillo 3, Hutchinson 2) U 2 ( DeBerry 2)