In a county clash, Hampton had enough power for a sweep.
The Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs picked up a pair of wins over Unaka on Friday night. In the girls’ game, Hampton scored the last six points of the game to take a 56-52 victory, while the Bulldogs pulled away from a pesky Rangers squad in the second half for a 73-42 victory.
The girls’ game saw neither team able to get separation from the opening tip.
Over the first four minutes of the first quarter, the team swapped shots as the game was tied at 8-8. Hampton’s Shy Tuelle helped the Lady Bulldogs get run going with four straight free throws. That sparked a 9-3 run with Unaka getting a trey from Beth Lowe as HHS maintained a 19-13 lead going into the second.
Unaka answered the call in the second as Sarah Tipton knocked a 3-pointer and Lexi Garland added another trey late in the quarter to give the Lady Rangers a slim lead. Hampton, however, saw Kinzy Hill and Hannah Collins knock down shots to give HHS a 30-27 advantage at the half.
The back-and-forth nature continued in the third quarter as the teams were tied at 34-34 midway through the stanza. Tulle regained the lead for the Lady Bulldogs with back-to-back 3-pointers, but Sydney Markland added a 3-pointer of her own to answer in the closing minute. Stephanie Campbell beat the third-quarter with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give HHS a 46-40 lead with eight minutes to play.
The Lady Rangers took control in the early going of the final quarter to get back in the game as Erika Potter tied the game at 47-47. Mayah Parlier countered a Kayci Royston jumper to give Unaka a 52-50 advantage with 2:43 to play.
Hampton took advantage of Unaka miscues in the final minutes and scored six straight points – including a Hill free throw with 19.7 seconds remaining to retake the lead – to take the win.
Tuelle had 23 points for the host Hampton, while Campbell tallied 13 points. Hill finished with seven points.
Parlier and Garland had 12 points each for Unaka, while Tipton had 11 points.
In all, the two teams combined for 20 3-pointers in the game.
In the nightcap, it was a back-and-forth battle in the early going.
Isaac Hill scored the game’s first four points to give UHS an early lead, but Jordan Bentley opened the Hampton scoring as the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run to take the lead midway through the first. The Rangers repaid the favor with a 9-2 run that saw Unaka retake the lead on an Austin Drew trey.
Hampton, however, saw Gavin Hardin hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 13-13 going to the second.
After Davey Ensor broke the stalemate for Unaka, Hampton reeled off the next 12 points over a four-minute period to take control. A late spurt by Unaka closed the gap as Hampton maintained a 28-20 lead going into the half.
Unaka’s Tyler Burke converted an old-fashioned 3-point play for Unaka to open the third quarter. From there, it was all Hampton.
Bentley hit back-to-back shots to spark an impressive run that saw the Bulldogs push the lead to 46-24 late in the quarter.
Hampton, who outscored Unaka 24-6 in the third quarter, never looked back from there.
Bentley led Hampton with 14 points, while Hunter Davenport tallied 13 points. Dru Owens and Hardin had 11 points apiece.
For Unaka, Hill led all scorers with 17 points. Ensor had 12 points.
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