Bulldogs advance past Huskies in overtime

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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BLOUNTVILLE – Hampton almost lost a game that was well in hand with a 12-point fourth-quarter lead, only to see North Greene put on a spectacular rally to force overtime in the Region 1A boys basketball semifinal played at Evelyn Rafalowski Athletic Center.
Hampton would rely on its defense to pull out a 57-53 win to advance to the Region final on Thursday against University High who took a 70-46 victory over Cosby.
The Bulldogs (25-7) led 43-31 with 5:50 remaining in regulation and held a 45-34 advantage with four minutes showing on the clock when the Huskies (19-15) went on a 12-point run to take a 46-45 lead with 2:08 remaining.
“It was a real gut check for us,” Bulldogs head coach Ned Smith said. “Our kids stepped up and we won it on defense. I thought Dylan (Trivett) and Chance (Point) both did a great job on Britton who was the focus of our defense. We had a big foul out, but we rallied behind defensive pressure and thank the good Lord we got the win.”
The Bulldogs seemed in control of this contest throughout most of it as they answered every North Greene comeback attempt and held a 25-17 halftime lead. The ‘Dogs led 37-29 going into the fourth period and it looked like a done deal when Hampton went up 43-31.
At the four-minute mark, North Greene’s Dennis Malone hit a trey which was followed by a deuce from Jason Britton and a three-point play from guard Sam English as the Huskies drew to within 45-39 with 3:05 showing on the game clock.
The run continued for the Huskies with Britton hitting a bucket and a pair of free throws to take a 46-45 lead and at the 2:09 mark, Bulldogs senior guard Cadon Buckles fouled out. A deuce from Geno Carrico gave the ‘Dogs a one-point lead and a free throw from Dalton Nave made it 48-46.
A deuce from Bennett McLain tied the game at 48-48 and forced the extra session.
In overtime, Point hit a deuce, but Britton knocked down a trey for a one-point Huskies lead but junior post Hayden Campbell hit a turnaround jumper in the lane for Hampton. A pair of free throws followed for North Greene by Malone that gave the Huskies a 53-52 lead.
Campbell then stepped up and scored a bucket and the free throw for a three-point play and a 55-53 Hampton lead. Michael Anspaugh then made the play of the game on a steal and layup at the other end and the ‘Dogs swarming defense did not allow a final shot attempt from the Huskies.
“It was a challenge to us to win it on defense,” Campbell said. “We couldn’t have done it any other way. When Cadon fouled out, it was a big blow to us but not a cause for alarm. We had to just press them defensively and be all over them.”
Britton led all scorers with 25 points for North Greene while Buckles 18 points took top-scoring honors for the Bulldogs with Carrico adding 11.
Region 1A semifinal
Hampton 57-53
North Greene (53)
English 4, Davenport 2, May 7, McLain 4, J. Britton 25, T. Britton 3, Malone 5, Carrico 3.
Hampton (57)
Trivett 5, Anspaugh 9, Buckles 18, Campbell 7, Point 5, Robinson 2, Carrico 11.
North Greene 8 9 12 19 5 – 53
Hampton 14 11 12 11 9 – 57
3 point goals: NG 6 (J. Britton 3, T. Britton 1, Malone 1, Carrico 1), H 2 (Trivett 1, Anspaugh 1)

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