For 28 minutes, Hampton was in a fight for their postseason life. However, the Bulldogs delivered when they needed to.
Hampton survived and advanced with a 50-35 victory over North Greene on Saturday in the Region 1-A Semifinals at Chuckey-Doak High School. The win moves Hampton into Monday’s title game as well as Tuesday’s sectional round.
“We had a great crowd on hand tonight, and it was a great atmosphere,” Hampton Head Coach NedSmith said. “The kids dint quit and battled back. They played smart down the stretch and made a lot of big free throws.”
After the opening two minutes went scoreless, Cheyenne Camillo drained a 3-pointer, but Norht Greene answered nearly a minute later. The teams traded baskets before Camillo hit two free throws and Adam McClain knocked down a trey for the Bulldogs. A Stone Hutchinson jumper with 28 seconds left in the quarter gave Hampton a 12-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Huskies began to close the gap to start the second quarter to pull within two points. However, Camillo hit his second three of the day to snap the Huskies run. Zane Britton and North Greene went on a 7-0 run to cut the gap back to one, but Stanley Valentine hit a tough shot for Hampton. The teams traded points before North Greene knotted the game at 23-23 at the half.
The third quarter saw offense come at a premium. North Greene used a Britton shot with 3:10 to play in the frame to take the lead, but Valentine hit a bucket and Coby Jones put the Bulldogs up 29-27 with a pair of free throws.
Hampton, however, took control in the fourth quarter. Baskets by Jones and Valentine helped push Hampton to a six-point lead. After the Huskies hit a 3-pointer, an 8-0 Hampton run helped Hampton ice the win to advance.
“They took a breathe and came out, took it to the basket, finished around the rim and rebounded down the stretch,” Smith said. “We got out of position in the first half. Second half, we got in position, blocked out and took good shots.”
Valentine led the way with 15 points, while Camillo tossed in 14 points. Jones tallied 11 points in the game. McClain added six points.
The win moves Hampton to the Region 1-A title game where they will face South Greene. Tip off at Chuckey-Doak High School is at 6 p.m.