Bulldogs rally past Huskies… Lady ‘Dogs fall to North Greene
BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
Down by six going into the fourth quarter, Hampton forward Morgan Lyons scored eight of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter and Michael Harrison’s emphatic block of Chris Schultz last-second full-court heave equaled a Bulldog victory.
The ‘Dogs (16-9, 8-1 WVC) knocked North Greene (24-4, 8-1) from the ranks of the Watauga Valley Conference unbeaten list with a 57-55 win on Tuesday at Van Huss / White gymnasium.
“I wanted the ball in my hands,” Lyons said. “Defensively we knew (Schultz) can only go right so we guarded his right hand and made him go left. If he turned one way we had someone come up and make him turn that way and steal it. We worked on that all week this week.”
Hampton came out hot in the first quarter taking a 19-11 advantage after one period but the Huskies shut the ‘Dogs down in the second period to open a 29-25 halftime lead.
North Greene led 44-38 going into the fourth quarter but Hampton was up to the challenge with Lyons hitting two buckets and Harrison another as Hampton tied the score at 44-44.
Another Lyons deuce at the 3:16 mark gave the ‘Dogs a 49-47 lead and a bucket from Conor Burleson made it a 51-47 contest. The Huskies got a deuce from Schultz but guard Parker Henry dropped in a deuce for a 53-49 Bulldogs lead.
Schultz – who scored a game-high 20 points – hit a deuce to cut the Hampton lead to 53-51 and a bucket from forward Kendal Loftis knotted the score at 53-53.
Two free throws from Lyons and a basket by Harrison added up to a 57-53 Hampton advantage before Schultz scored his last points of the night on a drive to the bucket with 2.7 seconds left and Isaiah McCurry at the free-throw line.
McCurry missed and Schultz rebounded the ball and turned to fire a shot at the opposite end but Harrison blocked his throw and the celebration began.
“The kids stepped up down six and played hard,” Bulldogs head coach Ned Smith said. “North Greene is well-coached and they are a great team so this is a big win for us. We still have Cloudland on Friday to close out the conference.”
With the win, Hampton ties North Greene for the top spot in the conference but the Huskies hold the overall advantage with 24 regular-season wins.
North Greene 77
The Lady Bulldogs scored more points than usual but could not hold forward Haleigh Bernard down as she scored 20 points to lead North Greene (17-6, 6-1). Guards Shelby Davenport and Breezy Savage each added 14 points to the NG total while Linzy Jenkins topped Hampton with 16 points.
The Lady ‘Dogs (3-16, 1-5) took a 15-11 lead after one period with solid defense and trey’s from Jenkins and Maddi McClain but the Lady Huskies scored 31-second period points to take a 42-25 halftime lead and never looked back.
McClain scored 11 points for Hampton with Sara Orr and Taylor Berry each adding five to the Bulldogs scoring sheet.
North Greene (55)
Foulks 10, Campbell 7, Loftis 12, Schultz 20, Cooter 6.
Harrison 13, Henry 14, Lyons 17, Burleson 9, McCurry 4.
North Greene 11 18 15 11 – 55
Hampton 19 6 13 19 – 57
3-point goals: NG 4 (Cooter 2, Foulks, Campbell), H 2 (Henry 2).
North Greene 77-51
North Greene (77)
Bailey 2, Britton 2, Savage 14, Davenport 14, Bernard 20, Anderson 4, Sanders 11, English 1, Harmon 1, Wagner 8.
Davis 3, Milhorn 2, Jenkins 16, M. McClain 11, Orr 5, R. McClain 2, Henry 4, Nickles 2, Berry 5, Guy 1.
North Greene 11 31 27 8 – 77
Hampton 15 10 14 12 – 51
3-point goals: NG 5 (Bernard 3, Savage, Sanders), H 5 (M. McClain 2, Jenkins, Orr, Berry).