Pack attack… Jr. ‘Dogs unite to take down Debusk in East Tennessee Sectional

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, February 5, 2020

KINGSPORT – Everyone knows that when one dog runs alone it is venerable but when a pack of dogs stays together they form a strong unit that can overcome much adversity.
The Hampton Bulldogs displayed that well on Monday night in the East Tennessee Class A Sectionals being played at John Sevier Middle in Kingsport as a total team effort led to the Jr. ‘Dogs taking a 60-21 win over the Debusk Braves to advance to Thursday’s semifinals against Jonesboro, a winner over University School.
“We played sloppily,” said head coach Dewayne Humphrey after the win. “Loose balls that we normally get and rebounds that we normally get were bouncing out of our hands like we kind of out of sync a little bit, maybe a little nerves.
“It was the first game over here and it took a little while to get going and I thought Chandler (Smith) kind of settled us down early when he hit two big shots.”
If Hampton’s win on Monday was considered sloppy, it doesn’t look too promising for the upcoming opposition as Hampton was frustrating the Braves on both ends of the floor.
Debusk had problems stopping the Jr. ‘Dogs from inside and out on the offensive end as Hampton ran out to a 32-8 halftime lead and never looked back.
Dylan Trivett scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the first half to show the way hitting mid-range jumpers and taking the ball to the rim.
Meanwhile, Hampton was feeding their pitbull on the inside in Hayden Campbell as the monster post player also scored 10 points in the first 12 minutes.
Smith got things rolling in the first quarter hitting a trey and a two-pointer just inside the arc for five points.
The second half was much the same for Hampton as they kept the defensive pressure on Debusk forcing several turnovers.
Elijah McKinney came up huge in the second half offensively scoring eight of his 10 points in the half.
McKinney has been a pleasant surprise for Humphrey in the second half of the season after losing some key players to injury and other issues.
“If you would have told me early in the season that Elijah would be able to drive the ball and pull up for a jump shot and hit it I might have would have doubted you,” stated Humphrey. “He has been working really hard at home and in practice and I am tickled to death to see what he is doing for us now.
“He scored 10 points tonight which was the first time he has scored in double figures.”
Nine players took the court and all contributed big in the win whether by their defensive play or offensive output.
Trivett led with 18 points while Campbell was close behind with 16 points. McKinney’s 10 gave the Bulldogs three players in double figures.
Smith finished with five points while Dominic Burleson totaled four points. Michael Anspaugh dropped in three points with Caden Davis and Grayson Young scored two points each.
Elijah Church didn’t score but provided valuable minutes defensively.
Jose Roderick scored six points to lead Debusk while Randall Sauceman collected four points.
Hampton plays in the semifinals on Thursday at 6:30 pm at John Sevier. A win would put them in the championship on Saturday with a trip back to the state championship on the line.

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