The Bulldogs captured a 67-62 victory over an upset-minded Unaka squad on a night where the Rangers honored the 2004 State Championship team in addition to naming the court after Donald Ensor. In the girls’ game, the Lady Rangers methodically pulled away for a 49-33 victory.
In the boys’ game, the battle felt more like a heavyweight fight.
The teams traded shots in the first quarter, and Unaka took a 17-14 lead into the second quarter off a Daniel Ensor bucket. Hampton, however, answered the bell as Caleb Oaks and Jordan Bentley had eight second-quarter points apiece to power HHS to a nine-point halftime lead.
Unaka continued to battle in the second half.
After the teams played nearly even in the third quarter, Hampton saw Ryan Johnson hit three 3-pointers to help trim the gap in the fourth quarter.
The Rangers cut the lead to single possession, but the Bulldogs hit the free throws to secure the game. Hampton was 11-of-15 from the free throw line in the final quarter.
Oaks had 16 points to pace Hampton, and Bentley finished with 15 points. Garrett Vines had 10 points. Matt Hughes added seven points to the Bulldog cause.
For the Rangers, Johnson finished with 18 points to lead the way. Isaac Hill had 15 points t, while John Ramsey had 12 points. Will Sexton added nine points.
In the girls’ game, it was a tight battle for most of the game.
Neither team was able to get separation in the first quarter as Unaka took a 13-10 lead after eight minutes of play. In the second quarter, the Lady Rangers edged ahead to a five-point lead at the half after a defensive minded quarter that saw Jada Whitehead scored five points for the Lady Rangers. Unaka led 23-18 at the half.
Hampton didn’t go down without a fight as Stephanie Campbell scored six points in the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs were unable to cut into the lead going to the fourth quarter. The final period saw Myah Parlier scored six Lady Ranger points as UHS pulled away to take the win.
Parlier finished with 13 points to lead Unaka. Whitehead added 11 points, while Hannah Tipton tallied nine points in the win.
Hampton was paced by Campbell’s 11 points. Hannah Collins pitched in eight points, while Bridgett Heaton scored six points in the win.