Hampton bites the Rebels in a thriller
BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
HAMPTON – Even though the Hampton Bulldogs and South Greene Rebels aren’t in the same conference in basketball, that didn’t stop the two from engaging in a tussle in a basketball playoff atmosphere in VanHuss-White Gymnasium on Monday evening.
With the memory of a 73-70 loss still dangling loosely in their minds from their last encounter, the Bulldogs came out with a bullish demeanor as they were constantly on the attack from the opening tip to the final horn as Hampton gained a measure of revenge with a 76-68 win.
Hampton came out of the gates quickly and by the half had built a 10-point lead thanks to a 13-point first-half effort from Morgan Lyons and the hot hand of Dalton Holsclaw who knocked down two treys and was fouled on a third attempt in the opening period to record nine first-quarter points.
The ‘Dogs also got an outstanding first half from freshman post Hayden Campbell who worked the paint to score eight points in the first half.
South Greene, meanwhile, was staying in the contest thanks in part to their ability to hit from behind the three-point arc knocking down six in the opening half.
Jay Higgins led the charge for the Rebels with nine points in the half while Luke Myers, Preston Bailey, and Isaac Hoese hit for six points apiece in the opening 16 minutes of play.
South Greene came out of the locker room with a little pep in their step as by the end of the third quarter they had all but erased the 10-point halftime lead to take a one-point edge heading to the final eight minutes of action.
Higgins picked up his Rebel teammates and put them on his back in the quarter as he scored 13 points in the quarter. Ayden Hawk also had a big hand in the comeback scoring seven to help the Rebels outscore Hampton 21-10 in the frame.
Not wanting to let another one slip away, Lyons almost single-handedly willed the Bulldogs to the win in the final eight minutes of play as he added 12 points to his scoring ledger to finish with a game-high 27 points.
Bulldog head coach Ned Smith kept the pressure up throughout and made sure to keep his troops fresh by freely subbing throughout the contest.
Higgins finished with a team-high 23 points to pace the visitors from Greeneville.
Hampton will be on the road Friday night as they travel up 19-E to Roan Mountain to tangle with Coach Tyler Chambers Highlander squad in what always turns out to be a barn burner.
South Greene (68)
Isaac Hoese 6, Jay Higgins 23, Ayden Hawk 12, Chandler Fillers 9, Luke Myers 10, Hayden Hartman 1, Preston Bailey 7.
Nate Wilson 1, Michael Harrison 4, Parker Henry 8, Joseph Jenkins 3, Dalton Holsclaw 9, Logan Whitehead 4, Brody Hicks 1, Isaiah McCoury 5, Morgan Lyons 27, Garrett Vines 2, Conor Burleson 4, Hayden Campbell 8.
South Greene… 16 18 21 13 – 68
Hampton………. 24 20 10 22 – 76