Bulldogs top Bucs in conference action

Published 9:57 pm Sunday, February 5, 2023

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Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
Hampton’s varsity teams traveled to Brooks Gymnasium in Johnson City, Friday night to take on University High, and while the girl’s game was rather lopsided, the boy’s game was a dandy.
Boys Hampton 65 UH 61
This game would feature two of the best guards in the area in Cadon Buckles and AJ Murphy and neither would disappoint. The first period would mirror the game as a whole; as the Bulldogs would grab a lead only to see the Bucs rally back, Buckles and Murphy would pace their teams early, scoring six and eight points, respectively. A Brody Hicks three-pointer would help the Bulldogs hold on to their slim lead at 19-16 going into the second period.
The second period would continue with the seesaw play, with Hampton building moderate leads only to see the Bucs rally again and again. Michael Anspaugh would hit a turnaround floater to push the lead to 25-20 at the 5:19 mark of the second period. Buckles would then kiss a one-handed putback off the glass and Hayden Campbell would muscle up a rebound to push the Bulldog lead to 11 at 31-20 with 2:33 remaining in the second period. The Bucs would respond with a 7-0 run, just to see the Bulldogs push the lead back after Anspaugh would get a three-pointer the old-fashioned way. Bucs AJ Murphy would hit a layup at the buzzer to make it 36-29 going into the locker room.
The Bulldogs would come out of the locker room and extend their lead, threatening to run away from the Bucs as Buckles would appear at times to be too much for the Bucs to handle. The Bulldogs would be up by 11 at 47-36 with 2:18 remaining in the third period, but the Bucs once again would go on an 8-0 run sparked by the play of Buc’s Andrew Cole, who would hit three three-pointers in the period and close the lead to 49-46 going into the final period. Cole scored 11 straight, finishing with 20 points, a career-high.
The Bucs would grab their first lead of the game, 53-51, and cap off a 15-2 run at the 6:15 mark of the fourth. Bulldogs Coach Ned Smith would call a timeout to regroup. In an understated moment, Hayden Campbell would muscle up a layup and then race down the court to block the shot of AJ Murphy. The game over the final minutes would teeter back and forth; a technical on the Bulldogs would see the Bucs take a two-point lead at 59-57 with a Murphy layup. Cadon Buckles would respond by hitting a short jumper to tie the game once again. AJ Murphy would glide through the paint for a one-handed layup giving the Bucs a lead at 61-59, but Buckles would hit two free-throws to tie the game once again at 61 all. The Bucs would call a timeout to setup one final play with 36 seconds left, but the Bulldogs would get a hand on a Bucs pass and Bulldog’s Geno Carrico would hit both free throws after a UH lane violation would give him a second chance. The Bucs would have one more chance but the ball would roll off the front of the rim and Campbell would grab the rebound, be fouled and hit both of his free throws to make the final score 65-61.
Walking off the court, Cadon Buckles would lead all scorers with 27, would pause and reflect on this game “these kinds of games will get us ready for the tournament, to come into a hostile environment and play smart and play under control; this was good for us, it will mature us.” Bulldogs Coach Ned Smith acknowledged his team’s efforts as well “kids stepped up and kept playing defense, we are a full court team, University High played really well tonight.”
Girls Hampton 60 UH 22
The Lady Bulldogs would overwhelm and outscore the Lady Bucs 31-4 in the first period and then use the second half to get their reserves a lot of needed minutes. In limited time, Madison McClain would score 13 points off three three-pointers, Macy Henry would add ten points, and Faye Carrico would chip in eight points coming off the bench.

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