Hampton is back in the ‘Ship.
The Bulldogs jumped out early and secured a spot in the BlueCross Basketball Class A Championship game with a 53-43 victory over Chattanooga Prep in the Class A semifinals on Friday afternoon inside the Murphy Center.
Hampton will take on Middleton in Saturday’s Class A Championship game in Murfreesboro.
It will be Hampton’s first title game appearance since 1983. Hampton won the state title in 1960.
The Bulldogs wasted no time in jumping out.
Hayden Campbell hit a lay-up, and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Geno Carrico gave Hampton a 5-0 lead. After the Sentinels hit a 3-pointer, Cadon Buckles and Campbell kicked off a run that pushed the lead to 11-3.
Chattanooga Prep scored the last six points of the first quarter to trim the Hampton lead to 13-9.
Buckles snapped a nearly four-minute scoreless stretch for Hampton with a bucket, but the Sentinels quickly pulled back within two points.
The teams traded shots to end the half as Hampton took a 21-15 lead at the half.
The Bulldogs slowly started stretching the lead in the third. With buckets from Buckles and Carrico to go with a pair of free throws from Michael Anspaugh, Hampton opened the half on an 8-3 run to push the advantage to double digits. HHS maintained a 35-20 lead after three complete quarters.
The Bulldogs answered Chattanooga Prep shots to open the quarter, and kept the Sentinels at bay to secure the win.
Buckles had 29 points to lead Hampton, while Carrico had 12 points. Campbell finished with seven points, while Anspaugh had four points.
Campbell had 10 rebounds for the blue and white.
Derrick Roberson led Chattanooga Prep with 12 points.
Photos by JD Vaughn