Region 1-A Boys’ Championship Hampton 60 University High 51 Bulldogs sink teeth into Bucs to earn Region 1-A title

Published 12:12 am Saturday, March 7, 2020




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MORRISTOWN – As a child, most learned whether when you were going to get a spanking whether it was one lick or five, it didn’t matter if the woodshed was in your back door or 70 miles down the road, you were going to get that spanking.

University High learned that on the hardwood at Walters State College on Thursday evening as the Bucs had the opportunity to play closer home at Daniel Boone but elected to make the trip back to Morristown for the final against Hampton.

It didn’t matter much to the Hampton Bulldogs where the game was played as Coach Ned Smith’s team had only one thing in mind and that was winning the regional title and playing at home on Monday.

Both were accomplished as the Bulldogs took care of University High with a 60-51 win and more importantly will be playing at home on Monday in VanHuss-White Gym which will have fans hanging from the rafters hoping to help the ‘Dogs get back to Murfreesboro.

Unlike their semi-final game against Cosby, the Bulldogs took control early and never looked back as Hampton led 20-14 at the end of one and 30-23 at the break.

The red-hot play of Izaak Hill and All-Tourney selection Caleb Oaks who each accounted for eight points in the half helped to propel the ‘Dogs out front after the first 16 minutes of play.

Hampton also saw Conor Jones and Morgan Lyons – each selected to the All-Tourney team as well, drop in four points apiece for the ‘Dogs.

Coming out of the locker room, Hampton continued to grow their lead to as many as 14 points at one point in the third period before the Bucs put on a small run of their own heading into the final period of regulation.

U-H had their best quarter in the final eight minutes of play as the Bucs managed to climb within four points in the final two minutes of play before Hampton salted the game away at the charity stripe.

Rocky Croy, who was named the MVP of the tournament for Hampton, came alive in the second half scoring nine to help lift his team to the win.

For the game, Oaks led the way offensively hitting for a game-high 14 points to lead Hampton.

Croy and Jones finished with 11 points apiece in a contributing role. Jones was spinning his magic from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter hitting 5-of-6.

Hill closed out the contest with eight points. Matt Hughes, an All-Tourney pick, had seven points in the winning effort.

Lyons collected four points in the game with Jordan Bentley and Garrett Vines finished with three and two points respectively.

Kaleb Meredith scored 16 points to pace U-H. Mason Bloome totaled 12.

“U-H is a great team, well-coached with two of the best guards around,” said Smith after the contest. “We held them to 16 and four and our kids just stepped up and played good defense tonight and taking the ball to the hole.

“All the kids stepped up. The starters really stepped up well and I think we had 22 or 23 points off the bench. They played together and did a great job of doing that.”

With the win, Harriman will be pulling into Hampton for a 7 pm tipoff on Monday.

Smith said even though having the game at home is great for his team, that doesn’t mean the game is in the bag.

“It’s will be a great crowd and a great atmosphere. Our kids have got to come to play Monday night.”

The Bucs will hit the road to Oneida in the other sectional game. The winners advance to State Championship play the week of March 18th at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.