Hampton’s upset bid falls short

Hampton basketball

The Bulldogs had an upset on their mind on Thursday. However, the upset bid came up just short against the team many considered the favorite to win the title.

Hampton came up short in the Class A quarterfinals as they fell 57-53 to Union City on Thursday in Murfreesboro.  The loss ends a stellar season for the Bulldogs with a 28-8 record.

After Union City opened the game with a free throw, Hampton’s Stanley Valentine put Hampton on the board with a lay-up, and the Stone Hutchinson drained a 3-pointer and Cheyenne Camillo added a lay-up to give the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead midway through the first quarter.

However, Union City answered with a 7-0 run of their own to regain the lead. Coby Jones and Valentine hit baskets to give Hampton an 11-10 lead after a quarter of play.

After Jones’ scored twice quickly to open the second quarter, the teams traded points as Hampton maintained a 17-14 lead with 3:58 to play in the frame. Mr. Basketball candidate Marcus DeBerry capped off a quick 4-0 run for the Golden Tornadoes in the closing minutes to push Union City to a 24-18 lead at the half.

DeBerry pushed the UC lead to nine points to open the third quarter, but Valentine answered on the other end for the Bulldogs. Hutchinson scored four straight points to close the gap before the Golden Tornadoes pushed the lead back to eight with just over three minutes to play. Jones added a basket, but Union City extended the lead to 40-30 at the end of the third quarter.

After Parker Stewart laid in a lay-up for Union City, the Bulldogs made a run. Camillo drained a 3-pointer, and Hutchinson added another to quickly pull Hampton within six points. A Camillo trey with 5:50 to play cut the Hampton deficit to 42-39.

The Golden Tornadoes added back-to-back buckets, but Hutchinson’s layup with 3:20 to play pulled Hampton back within five. The teams traded points in the final minute as Camillo hit a pair of free throws to close the gap to two points, and Jones pulled Hampton back within two with 13 seconds on the clock after a pair of UC free throws. However, that was as close as the Bulldogs could get before the horn expired.

Hutchinson finished with 16 points to pace Hampton, while Camillo tossed in 13 points. Valentine and Jones had 11 and 10 points, respectively. Hampton finished the game 38% from the floor, while the Golden Tornadoes were 48%.

Stewart and Simpson led UC with 17 points apiece. The Bulldogs held DeBerry to nine points.

Photos courtesy of Jason Weaver, Mac Brown Photographers Macbrownphoto.com

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