Hampton Elementary fends off Sulphur Springs

Published 8:23 am Tuesday, February 5, 2019

KINGSPORT—With Hampton leading 48-47 and less than ten seconds on the clock, Jr. Bulldog fans and coaches held their breath as Sulphur Springs threw up a last ditch effort to win.

The shot fell short and the Jr. Bulldogs held off Sulphur Springs, 48-47, for the TMSAA Class A East Sectional title and a ticket to the first-ever TMSAA Class A State Championships in Murfreesboro.

“We are going to be one of the final four,” said Hampton Elementary head coach Dewayne Humphrey. “We felt like if there was going to be somebody from our area, why not us?

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“It was just a heckuva game,” added Humphrey. “Our kids played great, and it means the world to them. They have put in a ton of hard work to get here.”

The Jr. ’Dogs had three teams hit double-digits as Brody Hicks recorded a team-high 12 points. Tournament MVP Johnathan Greenwell followed with 11 while Austin Bentley picked up ten.

Greenwell’s MVP selection came after a tournament performance that saw the Jr. Dog play a big role defensively and offensively for the Jr. Bulldogs.

“He has grown so much as a player and this is his first year playing for me,” said Humphrey about Greenwell. “Him, Austin (Bentley), and Ty (McElyea) have really set the tone for us energy wise. When they are playing hard it really gets us going.”

After one, the Jr. Bulldogs trailed Sulphur Springs 9-8. The first quarter saw McElyea and Bentley post four points each.

Midway through the second quarter, the Jr. ’Dogs went on a 9-0 run that was sparked by 3-pointer from Dylan Trivett, who finished the game with six points. Down the first-half stretch, Bulldogs Cadon Buckles and Bentley posted buckets to help give Hampton a 26-20 lead heading into the half.

The third quarter saw Hicks play the net for six points in the period while Sulpher Springs battled to stay in the game. At the end of three, the Bulldogs held a small 40-36 edge.

After the game tied up at 40-40 in the fourth, the Jr. Bulldogs posted six straight points as Hicks, Bentley, and Greenwell posted a bucket each during the run. The rally gave Hampton a 46-40 lead. Sulphur Springs, however, worked its way to within one point before the Jr. Bulldogs held on for the win.

Hampton will begin play in the state championship on Friday as they take on Smith County Middle at 6:45 EST inside Blackman Middle School in Murfreesboro. A win will earn Hampton a spot in the Class A State Championship to be played Saturday.