Bulldogs take down Rangers in District 1A semifinal

Published 8:44 am Monday, February 20, 2023

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BLOUNTVILLE – Senior guard Cadon Buckles put on a shooting clinic on Friday night in the District 1A boys basketball playoff at Evelyn Rafalowski Athletic Center as the Hampton Bulldogs advanced to the championship with a 77-41 win over Unaka.
Buckles finished with 36 points on 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) shooting from the floor, which included 4-of-6 (66.6 percent) from three-point range.
“I thought our defense came to play and our guys were really focused,” Bulldogs head coach Ned Smith said. “We played good pressure defense and Cadon, Michael (Anspaugh) and Levi (Lyons) all played well. We had 12 steals and 19 deflections and we passed the ball really well. Dylan Trivett brings a lot to the defensive side and rebounding. He does a lot of things that don’t show up in the boxscore.”
Hampton (23-6, 8-0 WVC) took a 19-11 first-period lead with Rangers senior forward Landon Ramsey scoring all of Unaka’s first-half points. The ‘Dogs slowed Ramsey down in the second period as his Rangers teammates seemed reluctant to shoot the ball as just seven shots were attempted by the Rangers, not named Ramsey.
“It’s tournament time so we know we have to be focused and ready,” Buckles said. “We beat Unaka two times already this year, but we knew they would come with intensity. We had some good practices coming in and we knew we had to step up.”
The Bulldogs raced to a 43-19 halftime advantage with Buckles scoring 18 of his game-high in the first half, but the best was yet to come for the lanky senior. Buckles filled it up in the third period hitting 5-of-9 from the floor for 14 points in the period as Hampton rolled to a 67-32 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The boys will hit the floor at Westridge High School on Tuesday in the District championship, with Hampton taking on University High in the championship and Unaka facing North Greene in the third-place game.
Ramsey finished with 25 points to pace the Rangers scoring, with Mason Wilson adding six.
For Hampton, Michael Anspaugh scored 13 points and Geno Carrico added nine.
District 1A semifinal
Hampton 77-41
Unaka (41)
Wilson 6, Douglas 3, Blamo 3, Ramsey 25, Lewis 2, Shomaker 2.
Hampton (77)
Lyons 8, Trivett 1, Anspaugh 13, Buckles 36, Campbell 8, Carrico 9, McElyea 2.
Unaka 11 8 13 9 – 41
Hampton 19 24 24 10 – 77
3-point goals: U 5 (Wilson 2, Ramsey 2, Douglas 1), H 7 (Buckles 4, Lyons 2, Anspaugh 1)

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