Bucs stun Hampton at the buzzer North Greene tops ‘Landers

Published 12:11 am Thursday, February 27, 2020

GRAY – An end-to-end rush from senior Kaleb Meredith ended in a layup basket with no time remaining as the University High Junior Buccaneers toppled Hampton 62-60 in the championship game in the District 1A tournament at Bobby Snyder Gymnasium.
“All I could think of was to drive hard, try to draw a foul or make a basket,” Meredith said. “Coach said they wanted me to have the ball and said where do you want it. This is big for us, it means a regional berth at home as the district champs and we want to dial it up for the next round.”
The Bucs went on a 16-0 run from the middle of the first period when they trailed 17-11 until Matt Hughes stopped the bleeding for Hampton at 4:38 of the second period with University High leading 27-17.
The half ended with UH leading 29-23. Meredith scored 13 first-half points including the buzzer-beating trey that ended the first period with the game tied at 17-17.
Meredith finished with a game-high 30 points, while Rocky Croy topped Hampton with 17.
The Bulldogs battled their way back to a one-point deficit after three quarters, trailing 43-42. Caleb Oaks had eight third-quarter points for the ‘Dogs.
Matt Hughes hit a deuce in the paint for Hampton to open the fourth period but Meredith answered with a two-point bucket and Marshall Fleenor canned a three-ball for a 50-46 Bucs lead with 5:36 left in regulation.
It became a 52-50 game when Hampton sandwiched two buckets from Croy and Morgan Lyons around a deuce from Mason Broome. A steal by Lyons led to a basket from Croy that gave Hampton a 53-52 lead but Meredith canned his fourth trey of the night for a 57-55 UH advantage at the 1:42 mark.
Oaks completed a three-point play with 32.4 ticks left and the ‘Dogs defense forced a Bucs turnover and Croy hit one-of-two for a 59-57 Hampton lead with 24.6 seconds left.
Meredith then struck for his fifth three-ball of the contest with 10.6 to play.
“We made some big plays and they made some big plays,” Bulldogs head coach Ned Smith said. “Our kids played hard, stuck to the game plan and Caleb and Morgan did a good job on the boards. Now we get to go home and play hard on Saturday.”
Boys Consolation
North Greene…50
North Greene got a pair of trey’s in the opening stanza and took a 12-6 lead after one period and the ‘Landers was able to shave just one point off the lead and trailed 18-13 at the break.
Guard Carson Whaley and forward Turner Bailey each hit from distance for the Huskies (21-11) and had five first-half points each.
The ‘Landers (15-15) continued to chip away at the Huskies lead with senior guard Conner Birchfield scoring 11 of the teams 12 points and went into the fourth quarter trailing 28-25.
A Birchfield bucket early in the fourth quarter pulled Cloudland to within 30-29 but North Greene went on a 10-point run to open a 40-29 advantage.
In the run the Huskies got back-to-back trey’s from Turner Bailey and Chance Campbell and a deuce from Kendall Loftis. Meanwhile, the ‘Landers shooting was atrocious with only Birchfield able to find the range.
“We shot bad and there wasn’t a lot we did well,” ‘Landers head coach Gary Harrison said. “We missed a lot of wide-open layups. We had a good game plan coming in but we didn’t execute. We have to get a whole lot better effort.”
Cloudland shot just 17-for-53 from the floor overall (32 percent) and were just 2-for-15 (13.3 percent) from distance. Birchfield led all scorers with 22 points while Bailey topped NG with 19.
North Greene 50-41
Cloudland (41)
Birchfield 22, Gilbert 5, Hu. Shell 4, E. Blair 7, Childress 2, H. Blair 1
North Greene (50)
Malone 1, Whaley 5, Bailey 19, Loftis 7, Foulks 7, Campbell 6, Freshour 2, Cooter 3.
Cloudland        6  7 12 16 – 41
North Greene 12 6 10 22 – 50
3-point goals: C 2 (Birchfield, Gilbert). NG 5 (Bailey 2, Whaley, Foulks, Campbell).
Boys Championship
University High 62-60
University High (60)
Fleenor 13, Carter 3, Meredith 30, Blowers 6, Broome 8, Rice 2.
Hampton (60)
Hughes 10, Vines 3, Oaks 13, Croy 17, Bentley 2, Jones 6, Lyons 9
University High 17 12 14 19 – 62
Hampton            17  6 19 18 – 60
3-point goals: UH 8 (Meredith 5, Fleenor 2, Carter). H 2 (Croy, Vines).
NG – Turner Bailey, Kendall Loftis
Sullivan North – Trey Williams
Unaka – Ryan Johnson, Will Sexton
Hampton – Rocky Croy, Caleb Oaks, Jordan Bentley
UH – Marshall Fleenor
Cloudland – Conner Birchfield, Hunter Shell
Player of the Year – Kaleb Meredith
NG – Kendall Loftis, Turner Bailey
Cloudland – Conner Birchfield, Hunter Shell
UH – Marshall Fleenor, Mason Broome
Hampton – Jordan Bentley, Caleb Oaks, Rocky Croy
MVP – Kaleb Meredith

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