Bulldogs get past Johnson County

Published 6:28 pm Saturday, November 28, 2015

By Matt Hill
JONESBOROUGH–Hampton has been playing shorthanded all week long at the Hardee’s Classic, but a group of young Bulldogs were rewarded with a huge win on Saturday against one of their biggest rivals.
The Bulldogs minus several football players still pulled out a huge 64-57 victory over the Johnson County Longhorns in the Seventh place game of the tournament at David Crockett High School’s “Crockpot”.
Hampton led most of the way on Saturday against a young Johnson County squad and though the Longhorns gave a great fight, in the end the Bulldogs shot the ball better and made big plays down the stretch in order to secure the victory.
One of those players who came up big was Charlie Butler, who led Hampton from the point with 18 points. He provided great leadership during a time where it was needed with players like Coby Jones still out from football.
For Butler, he says this week’s Hardee’s Classic that included a 62-60 loss to Christian Academy of Knoxville on Thursday where the ‘Dogs were up 10 at halftime was really encouraging and should build some depth down the road when the ‘Dogs are trying to get back to Murfreesboro for the state tournament.
“It was really good because our younger players got a lot more experience,” said Butler. “Right now we are missing three or four starters so it has been pretty rough on us right now. We had two football players back today. CAK was really good competition. The younger guys are stepping up and doing what they needed to do.”
The young players for the Bulldogs also had the chance to beat a heated-rival in Johnson County and this game means a lot to Butler, who went to Little Milligan and lives on the Carter/Johnson line.
“It was a good experience for us this week,” said Butler. “It was a good experience for us this week.”
Hampton head coach Ned Smith felt this group of kids was ready for the challenge of having to beat these schools with out some of its big dogs and they responded in a mighty way.
“We had some young kids step up, we played hard and competed about every game,” said Smith. “Boone beat us the most. We have started 3-2 and we are competing every game and we have created some depth for us and those football guys will be coming in this week in 3 or 4 days to practice and they are competitors. Football and basketball, they compete. Winning is contagious and we think that will carry right over. We have a good bunch here and a good bunch coming. They work hard. It was a very successful week.”
Dru Owens joined Butler in double figures with 11. Bud Icenhour and Tyler Edes led Johnson County with 13.

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