Bulldog defense leads the way in Regional Semifinal win over Hancock County
Published 1:29 am Wednesday, March 2, 2022
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BY NIC MILLER
After what ended as a blowout between the Eagles of Cosby and the Hampton Bulldogs on Saturday night, the team from Carter County traveled to Walters State Community College in Morristown on Tuesday to fight for a spot in the regional championship game.
The Bulldogs took on the Indians of Hancock County for a chance at the regional title, and Hampton showed yet again that they travel well, with half of the gymnasium flooded in light blue and white.
In the first quarter, the Bulldogs focused on their inside game in the opening minutes, taking the ball to the basket several times in the first few minutes. On the other end, Hampton’s defense was stifling the Indians, as the Bulldogs held them to only two made shots throughout most of the quarter.
After one, the Bulldogs had doubled the score of Hancock County, leading 14-7.
The second stanza was a whole different ball game, however, as the Indians defense began to come alive, gathering steal after steal to bring things within as close as six points in the quarter.
But a late run and a last-second, three-point make would give Hampton momentum going into the break up over Hancock County by a score of 35-23.
The second half began, and the Bulldogs came out of the locker room on fire, showcasing a blistering offense that consisted of multiple triples and countless inside baskets.
The Hampton defense also came to play in the third stanza just as hard as they had in the first two, holding the Indians to single digits and outscoring the visitors on the scoreboard 17-9. Heading into the final period, the Bulldogs had the momentum and the advantage, 52-32.
The last eight minutes saw the Bulldogs begin to celebrate as time wound down on their hard-fought victory. After it was all said and done, Hampton was going home to get ready for the region championship later this week, winning by a final of 73-49
In the win for the Bulldogs, Cadon Buckles led the team with a total of 14 points, while Conor Burleson trailed close behind with 12 on the night.
For the Indians, Storm Ramsey finished with 15 points while Hunter Hatfield ended his night with 11.
Hampton will compete for a regional title on Thursday at 7 p.m. when they take on North Greene. That game will also take place at Walters State Community College in Morristown.
Both Hampton and North Greene qualified for sectional play which takes place Monday at sites to be determined after the region final.