Hot-handed Hill helps Lady Bulldogs slip past Grainger

Published 8:37 am Sunday, February 14, 2016


The Lady Bulldogs did it again.

For the second time this season, the Lady ’Dogs defeated the state-ranked AA Grainger Lady Grizzlies. And like before, it wasn’t easy.

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Behinds two double-digit games from Alexus Grubbs and Kinzey Hill, the Lady Bulldogs defeated Grainger 40-39 Friday inside VanHuss White Gym.

The win over Grainger gives Hampton a needed boost as they head into tournament time, said head coach Bud Hazelwood.

“We were limping or crawling into the tournament,” he said. “We didn’t play well last night (at Chuckey-Doak). We just hadn’t been playing well. We had a long talk before the game. . . It was a good win. Grainger is a good ball club.”

One of the biggest parts of the game came in the second frame. Hill caught fire in the quarter as she rained in four 3-pointers to help the Lady Bulldogs take a 31-19 lead into the half. Hill finished the game with five treys.

“I came and shot this morning, and I really think that helped my confidence a lot,” Hill said. “I just kept shooting and they kept going in.”

Hazelwood said that Hill’s hot hand is something that the Lady Bulldogs have needed all season.

“We have been looking for something like that all year,” he said.

After a slow third quarter in which Grainger out scored Hampton 7-2, the teams went into the fourth quarter with Hampton up 33-26.

The Lady Grizzlies went on a 12-2 run to put them ahead 38-35 with less than two minutes left to play. Hill knocked her fifth trey of the night, before Grubbs hit a basket with 30 second remaining to put Hampton up 40-38. With 2.1 seconds left, Grainger’s Marisa Hipsher went to the foul line but could only make one. The Lady Bulldogs in bounded the ball and ran out the clock.

“They are No. 7 in the state in AA and it is big for us to get a win,” Hill said. “After coming in after a big loss last night, we needed a win to boost our confidence as we head into tournaments.”

The Lady Bulldogs will travel to Unicoi Monday, weather permitting.

Hampton 40, Grainger 39

Grainger (39)

Combs 23, Hipsher 7, Simon 5, Hodge 2, Conn 2.

Hampton (40)

Grubbs 17, Hill 15, Tuelle 4, Hoyle 4.

Grainger 8 11 7 13 — 39

Hampton 12 19 2 7 — 40

3pt goals — Grainger 5 (Combs 5) Hampton 8 (Hill 5, Grubbs 3)