Hampton splits with Blue Devils, Henry acknowledged for 1000th Point

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2024

By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

The Bulldogs faced the Blue Devils on Tuesday night at Van Huss White Gymnasium. The girls’ squad suffered a hard-fought 45-39 loss while the boys sought revenge for their December 1st defeat, dismantling the Blue Devils’ press.

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The Lady Bulldogs displayed relentless effort, rallying multiple times but ultimately couldn’t find the crucial shot. The game evolved into a defensive struggle, with neither team finding offensive rhythm. Macy Henry and Taylor Berry’s early 3-pointers kept the Bulldogs close. Both teams struggled in the second period, with the Lady Bulldogs outscoring the Blue Devils 6-5, ending the half trailing 18-16.

The Blue Devils threatened to widen the gap in the second half, reaching double-digit leads, notably after a late 3-pointer by Haley Rush in the 3rd period. However, each time the Blue Devils appeared close to sealing the game, the Lady Bulldogs rallied to stay within striking distance. Hannah Smith’s 3-pointer brought them within 5 points at the 3-minute mark, but that was the closest they got as the Blue Devils hit late free-throws to maintain their lead. No Lady Bulldog reached double digits, with Henry scoring 9 points and Taylor Berry contributing 7. Lady Blue Devil Haley Rush led all scorers with 25 points, including 5 3-pointers.

Following the game, Lady Bulldogs Head Coach Dewayne Humphrey discussed his team’s performance, stating, ‘The girls played really hard tonight, but we didn’t secure enough of the 50-50 balls. We need to improve our play in the paint. It’s a strong Unicoi team, and Haley Rush had an outstanding performance. Looking ahead to conference play, we’ve faced tough competition to prepare, but our offensive output needs improvement, especially in transition. We need to match the scoring capabilities of teams in our conference that put up 50 or 60 points.’

Pre-game, Macy Henry achieved her 1000th point in a weekend tournament in Gatlinburg. Reflecting on this milestone post-game, the recent Milligan University commit remarked, ‘It’s always been a major goal of mine. I remember seeing high school boys achieve it and aimed for the same. It’s a significant honor to reach that goal.’ She also emphasized the need for the Lady Bulldogs to refine their fundamentals this season, saying, ‘Currently, we’re making many small mistakes, and we need to solidify our fundamentals as we progress.’

In the boys’ game, Hampton triumphed over Unicoi 50-36. Both teams struggled offensively early on, with the Bulldogs leading just 7-7 after the first period and 24-19 at halftime. However, they found success by intensifying defensive pressure, securing a 13-point lead after a Chance Point free throw at the 3:30 mark of the 3rd period. Despite seeing their lead shrink to 6 points, the Bulldogs held firm in the final period. Michael Anspaugh’s 5 steals and defensive contributions, including feeding Geno Carrico for a 4th period rally, proved crucial. Hayden Campbell added 4 points from offensive rebounds as the Bulldogs avenged their earlier loss to the Blue Devils. Notably, the Bulldogs performed strongly from the free-throw line, going 10-11 in the second half.

Anspaugh led the Bulldogs with 14 points, while Chance Point contributed 11. Hayden Campbell delivered a solid all-around performance, scoring 10 points alongside 10 rebounds and 6 blocks.