Hampton had to work overtime. However, Cheyenne Camillo and the Bulldogs made the work led to Murfreesboro.
Camillo hit a 3-pointer to put Hampton up in overtime as the Bulldogs punched their ticket to the BlueCross Basketball Championships with a 88-80 victory over Meigs County on Tuesday night in Class A sectional action.
“What a team that Meigs County had,” Hampton Head Coach Ned Smith said. “They shot the lights out and just kept battling back. Our kids just fought their hearts out to win this thing.”
Hampton held the upper hand out of the gate. Cheyenne Camillo drained a trey, and Nathan Norris sparked a 7-0 run with back-to-back baskets before Stone Hutchinson added a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
The Tigers responded with an 8-0 run of their own before Stanley Valentine and Adam McClain hit shots. After Clint Oliver tied the game with a trey, Coby Jones put Hampton back in front and Valentine added three points to push the lead to 20-15 at the end of the first quarter.
The momentum continued to be with the Bulldogs in the second quarter. Norris and Camillo added buckets that started a 15-1 run that was capped by a Jones 3-pointer.
The Tigers, however, had a run of their own in store. Cam Harris knocked down a 3-pointer that started a run where Meigs County scored 12 points to pull within four with just under two minutes to play in the half. After Valentine added a bucket for the Bulldogs, the Tigers pulled the score to 37-34 at the half after Zy Moore drained a buzzer-beater from just across half court
In the third quarter, Bryson Baker and Moore added points that pushed Meigs County into the lead. However, Camillo answered with a trey to tie the game, and a Valentine shot in the pant pushed Hampton back in the lead. From there, the Bulldogs went on a 13-4 run with points from Stone Hutchinson, Jones, Valentine and Camillo. HHS held a 55-45 lead at the end of three.
Jones took over in the opening minutes of the final quarter by scoring the first eight Hampton points that led the Bulldogs to a 17-point lead after consecutive points from Valentine. The Tigers, however, wouldn’t go down without a fight again.
Meigs County went on a tear over the next three minutes that saw them pull within three on a Clint Oliver 3-pointer, and then closed to within one on a Moore bucket. Jones answered for Hampton and the teams traded points until Moore took advantage of a plus one to lift Meigs County to a 77-76 lead with 19.7 seconds left on the clock.
Adam McClain, however, responded by driving into the lane and giving HHS the one-point lead with 12 seconds left. The Tigers forced overtime by going 1-for-2 on the free throw line with 4.7 seconds left.
Moore put Meigs County in front to open the extra period. However, Jones hit a free throw and Camillo drained a trey to put Hampton up for good.
Jones finished with 32 points to lead all scorers, while Camillo and Valentine tossed in 19 points apiece. Norris scored 10 points in the game.
Moore led Meigs County with 25 points. Baker tossed in 20 points.
“Going to state has been one of our team’s goals this season,” Smith said. “It’s a dream to get to go to the big dance and we are very excited.”