Hampton gains shot at gold ball with victory over Chattanooga Prep
Published 4:50 pm Friday, March 17, 2023
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The Hampton Bulldogs were hoping the second time would be the charm to make it to the state championship game after falling last year at the same point of the BlueCross Basketball Championship in the semifinal round. To get there, they were going to have to defeat one of the youngest teams in the championship field in Chattanooga Prep starting three freshmen and two sophomores during Friday afternoon’s showdown inside The Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
With the experience of being at this level last season, the Bulldogs knew the formula it would take to pull off the win and gain a shot at the gold ball on Saturday. In the second half, Cadon Buckles put on a show as Mr. Basketball Finalist went off as Buckles single-handedly almost scored as many as Chattanooga Prep finishing the game with a game-high 29 to put the Bulldogs into Saturday’s championship game opposite the winner of University School from Johnson City and Middleton with a 53-43 victory.
Hampton came out of the gate quickly and built as much as an eight-point lead in the first quarter behind the inside play of junior post Hayden Campbell, who used his size on the inside to score six points in the opening period. Geno Carrico also had a big opening quarter as he added five points to help the Bulldogs build a 13-9 lead at the first horn.
Prep was kept in the contest by the play of Derrick Robinson, who scored seven in the first eight minutes.
Hampton continued to maintain their lead to intermission as the Sentinels managed to keep the game tight by closing the game to 21-15.
The ‘Dogs turned up the pressure in the third quarter outscoring the Sentinels 14-5 to take a 35-20 lead into the final period of play.
Prep had their best quarter of offense in the fourth period outscoring Hampton 23-18, but it was too little too late for the Sentinels as Hampton held on for the win giving the ‘Dogs their shot at coming back to Carter County with a state basketball championship.
Carrico reached double figures for the game as he recorded 12 in the contest. Campbell added seven while Michael Anspaugh finished with four. Chance Point added a free throw.
Roberson finished the game with 12 to lead Chattanooga while Eli Gaines recorded 11. Ta’Suade Williams contributed nine.
Hampton led the game from start to finish. The ‘Dogs worked the paint for 36 points to the Sentinels 18.
Campbell ripped down ten boards and added four blocks on the day with Carrico sweeping the glass for eight. Dylan Trivett added seven boards and two steals. Anspaugh dished out four assists in the game.
Hampton’s largest lead in the game was 16 points at the 6:33 mark of the fourth quarter.
Hampton will take on Middleton for the 1-A BlueCross Championship Saturday at 5 pm eastern time.