Sonny Smith Gymnasium was the stage for a pair of thrillers on Friday night.
Hampton edged Cloudland in a pair of varsity games as the Lady Bulldogs captured a 37-36 victory over the Lady ‘Landers in the girls’ game, and Hampton edged Cloudland 69-64 in the boys’ contest.
In the varsity opener, Cloudland controlled the game early. Trinity Vines scored the first five points of the game and a Shian Strickland 3-pointer game CHS an 8-1 advantage two minutes into the game.
Hampton answered as Megan Garland went on a 6-0 run of her own for the Lady Bulldogs. The teams traded points over the final two minutes as the quarter ended in a 10-10 stalemate.
Vines and Garland traded shots to open the second quarter before Strickland sparked a 10-2 Cloudland run. MaKayla Martin snapped the run and Alexus Grubbs added a 3-pointer to close the gap.
The Lady ‘Landers held a 222-19 advantage at the half.
Donrae Taylor and company quickly pushed the lead out to eight points for Cloudland. Hampton, however, scored the last three points of the period to trim the lead to five points going into the final eight minutes.
The fourth quarter saw the teams trying to take control.
Vines added a free throw for the opening point, but Shy Tuelle and Grubbs combined for five free throws for Hampton to tie the game with seven minutes to play. After Strickland broke the tie with a pair of free throws, Garland tied the game before Strickland pushed CHS back into the lead with a jumper.
Tuelle tied the game at 34-34 with 2:39 with a pair of free throws and Grubbs added a jumper to give HHS the lead with just under two minutes to play. Cloudland tied the game with 41.3 seconds on the clock with two Strickland free throws. Hampton, however, saw Tuelle hit the game-winning free throw on the other end to take the win.
Grubbs had 14 points for Hampton, while Garland tallied 12 points. Strickland led Cloudland with 16 points. Vines added 13 points for the Lady ‘Lander cause.
In the boys’ game, it was a back and forth affair from the opening tip.
Cloudland’s Noah Arnett took the opening tip for a quick score. Hampton got on the board with a Dru Owens trey which sparked a 7-0 Hampton run. Cloudland answered with a 5-0 run capped by four Jason Potter points. Hampton ended the quarter on an 8-2 run with four points from Jose Velasquez in the stretch.
That gave the Bulldogs a 15-9 lead at the end of the quarter.
Preston Benfield and Robert Leeper hit back-to-back shots to close CHS within two points, but Adam McClain and Ian Kelly answered for the Bulldogs. A quick 6-0 ‘Lander run tied the game at 19-19 with just under three minutes to play in the half. The teams traded points as Dakota Crumbly hit an old-fashioned 3-point play to give Hampton a 25-23 halftime lead.
Cloudland opened the second half quickly as they took a 30-29 lead. Hampton countered with four straight Velasquez points. After the teams traded the lead, the ‘Landers took a five-point lead off a Malachi Benfield runner. Velasquez ended the third quarter scoring as Cloudland took a 42-39 lead into the final eight minutes.
The teams traded points for the first two minutes until Hampton took a 56-50 lead with a 9-1 run. The ‘Landers battled back with shots from Josh Blair and P. Benfield, but McClain and Crumley each converted a pair of free throws for Hampton.
Wyatt Lyons kicked off a quick Hampton run with a dunk that pushed the HHS advantage to 66-61 with just under a minute to play. Cloudland continued to fight but was unable to get any closer than three points.
Velazquez had 27 points to lead all scorers, while Kelly added 11 points. Crumley and McClain had nine points apiece.
Cloudland was led by Leeper’s 18 points. P. Benfield had 13 points, while Potter and Arnett added nine points apiece.
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