Junior Bulldogs bite too much as they cruise past Comets
Published 3:59 pm Friday, January 12, 2024
By Ron Marvel
Hampton Middle School traveled to Central Thursday night in a clash of county foes; in the end, the Bulldogs were just too much for a tenacious Central squad.
Boys – Hampton 51 Central 32
The first period of the game displayed see-saw action as the Junior Bulldogs would hold a slim one-point lead at 8-7. It was a period where Central’s Mason Freeman would have several steals and 6 points to keep his team close. However, in the second period, the Junior Bulldogs went to the press, and it gave the Comets fits as they went on a 7-0 run to build an 8-point lead at the break. It was a game that also showcased an annoying Rylen Jones who was either knocking down jumpers or stepping into passing lanes to create turnovers.
The second half would see a Hampton team that has given their 8th graders the night off push a lead to double digits early in the 3rd period and then cruise the rest of the way. Nine different Junior Bulldogs scored in the contest with Rylen Jones leading the way with 19, and Chase Taylor and Colton Clawson both chipping in 8 apiece. The Comets were led by Mason Freeman, who had 18 points, and Lucas Davis, who had 7. After the game, Bulldogs Assistant Coach Parker Henry, who was filling in for Head Coach Leon Tolley, spoke about his team’s effort tonight. “I think when we went to the press, it looked good, so did our half-court defense; this is a small court, so we had to make adjustments,” Henry shared. The game’s leading scorer, Rylen Jones, also reflected on the game. “We could have shot the ball better, but we moved the ball well, which gave us some open looks; moving forward, we have to do a better job communicating; sometimes we get confused on what we’re doing.”
Girls – Hampton 40, Central 8
The Junior Lady Bulldogs led from start to finish as they used their size and passing game to wear down a game Lady Comets team. Alivia Cole would get the Lady Bulldogs going early, hitting short-range jumpers and grabbing offensive rebounds for putbacks as the Lady Bulldogs would go into the break, up 19-4. The second attempt shots would continue as Hammah Baird would spark her team with her 3rd period play as the Lady Bulldogs would keep the Comets off balance throughout the contest. Cole would finish the game with 12 points, and Bella Morgan would chip in 8. For the Comets, Zuleyma Mandel would score 6 in the contest.
After the game, Junior Bulldogs Coach Courtney Heyward commented on the positives from this game: “We are working on teamwork and passing the ball; we are trying to get multiple players involved. We went in tonight working on passing, so we took dribbles away tonight so we could work on our passing game; we need to learn to cut and move without the ball.”