District 1-A Championship: Hampton holds off Cloudland in overtime

Published 11:14 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bulldogs' Dakota Crumley celebrates after hitting the game winning shot to give Hampton its 50-48 Championship win.

Bulldogs’ Dakota Crumley celebrates after hitting the game winning shot to give Hampton its 50-48 Championship win.

GRAY – The District 1-A boys basketball championship played on Tuesday evening at Bobby Snyder gym featured the top two teams in the Watauga Valley Conference. Top seeded Hampton took on number two seed Cloudland and the Bulldogs took care of business with a 50-48 win over the ‘Landers.

Nathan Norris helped the ‘Dogs to an early lead with seven first quarter points as Hampton took a 13-6 lead after one period. Hampton opened the second period with an eight-to-two run to take a 21-8 advantage with 5:08 left in the period.

“We just kept battling and hitting the boards,” Norris said. “It means a lot to win this and get a home game in front of our crowd.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Wyatt Lyons helped Hampton (24-6 overall) extend that lead with a baseline basket that was answered at the other end by a Jesse Potter three-ball. Adam McClain added a trey and Coby Jones had a deuce while Potter had a trey and a pair of free throws, as Cloudland (16-12 overall) trailed at the break 25-15.

Norris led all scorers in the first half with 10 points and three steals, while Potter topped Cloudland with five points. Colby Birchfield opened the third period with a three-ball for the ‘Landers and Benfield followed with a deuce in the paint to cut the Hampton lead to 25-20.

A Norris bucket gave the ‘Dogs a seven point advantage with 4:50 remaining in the third period, but Dalton Vines responded for Cloudland to make it a 27-22 game. A Jones three was answered with a deuce from Birchfield to make it a 30-24 game with just under three minutes left in the stanza.

Birchfield hit a basket followed by free throws from Jones before Vines hit a basket and Chris Wagoner dropped in a triple to cut the ‘Landers deficit to 32-31 as the quarter came to a close.

A Benfield bucket gave Cloudland its first lead of the second half at 33-32 and the ‘Landers forced a turnover at the other end. Adam McClain and Benfield exchanged baskets as Cloudland clung to its 35-34 lead.

Norris turned his fifth steal of the contest into a deuce but Wagoner answered for the ‘Landers and made it a 37-36 contest with 2:31 remaining. A free throw from Birchfield gave Cloudland a two point lead which was erased by a trey from Norris as Hampton took a 39-38 lead with 1:28 to play.

Birchfield found the range from the right corner on a trey as the see saw lead change continued with the ‘Landers on top 41-39 with 43 ticks left on the clock. McClain hit a driving shot to the hoop to tie the game with 27 seconds left and the ‘Landers used a timeout. A last ditch shot by Benfield rimmed out forcing overtime.

“Our effort was excellent,” ‘Landers head coach Gary Harrison said. “The out come wasn’t but I can’t fault the effort these kids gave. We have to reset ourselves and get ready to play Hancock County on Saturday. We could have blocked out better in the first half, but we showed our resilience in coming back like we did.”

Potter opened the overtime session with a three from the right corner and Birchfield added two free throws as Cloudland led 46-41 with 2:19 left. Jones hit a trey for Hampton at that point to close it to 46-44 with 1:38 left.

“Cloudland came in with a good game plan,” Bulldogs head coach Ned Smith said. “They shot the lights out. It was just great that we ended up with the ball at the end.”

Another steal by Norris gave Hampton possession with 48 seconds left and after a timeout Jose Velazquez hit a short range jumper. On the inbounds play Jones made an attempt to steal the ball and in the scrum Benfield injured his left leg.

Josh Blair came on and hit both free throws in Benfield’s stead, but Norris – the tournaments most valuable player – hit a basket to tie that game at 48-48. Cloudland attempted a shot that was rebounded by Jones who spotted Dakota Crumley wide open under the Hampton basket and his pass was true.

When asked about the MVP award Norris said, “It means a lot, but winning the district and getting a home game in the region means a lot more.”

Crumley ducked to let the ‘Lander defender go by and put in a layup as the buzzer sounded.

“I just slid down the court and Coby saw me,” Crumley said. “I caught the ball and tucked it in for a second because I knew someone was there and I just put it in.”


District 1-A Championship

Hampton 50-48 (OT)

Cloudland (48)

Birchfield 16, Blair 2, P. Benfield 8, Wagoner 7, Potter 8, Vines 7.

Hampton (50)

Holtsclaw 4, Jones 10, McClain 5, Norris 19, Lyons 2, Velazquez 4, Butler 2, Crumley 2.

Cloudland 6  9 16 10 6 – 48

Hampton 13 12 7 7 9 – 50

3-point goals : C 5-13 (Birchfield 2-4, Blair 0-1, P. Benfield 0-1, Wagoner 1-3, Potter 2-4), H 4- 16 (Holtsclaw 0-3, McClain 1-4, Jones 2-5, Norris 1-3, Velazquez 0-1)