The third quarter proved to be the deciding factor on Stoney Creek Friday night.
Hampton and Unaka split a county District 1-A clash as the Lady Rangers took a 56-29 victory, while the Bulldogs took a 66-54 win over the homestanding Rangers after both teams pulled away in the third quarter.
In the boys’ game, neither team was able to pull away in the early going.
Hamptons scored the first five points of the game on shots from Garrett Vines and Rocky Croy, but Unaka battled back with the next seven with big shots from Will Sexton and Joseph Slagle. The teams traded shots before a Ryan Johnson 3-pointer gave the Rangers a 10-9 lead at the end fo the quarter.
Morgan Lyons and Croy pushed Hampton back in from in the open minute of the second stanza, but Sexton and Johnson countered for the Rangers. The teams traded shots for the rest of the quarter as a Izack Hill jumper in the closing seconds of the half gave Hampton a 24-23 lead at the half.
Hampton, however, took control in the third quarter.
Jordan Bentley had a 6-0 run of his own early in the quarter, and Bentley had 10 points in the quarter to power the Bulldogs. Hampton outscored Unaka 21-6 to take a 16-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
Sexton, Slagle and Johnson hit some key shots to trim the lead, but Unaka was unable to cut the lead back to single digits.
Bentley finished with 20 points to pace Hampton, while Croy had 13 points. Caleb Oaks and Lyons had eight points. Hill and Vines had seven and six points, respectively.
Sexton finished with 24 points, while Johnson had 12 points. Slagle ended the evening with eight points.
In the girls’ game, the Lady Bulldogs had control early.
Hazon Brummit hit a pair of shots early, and Madison McClain and Nicole Guy added key points in the later part of the quarter as Hampton held a 13-5 lead after a quarter of play.
Unaka, however, quickly erased the deficit with a 7-0 win that saw Kiki Forney and Lyndie Ramsey hit shots.
The teams swapped buckets for the rest of the quarter as Unaka edged to a 25-20 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, the momentum stayed with Unaka.
The Lady Rangers opened the quarter on a 10-0 run to seize control. The quarter ended with UHS outscoring Hampton 19-4 in the frame.
Hampton continued to battle in the final quarter but was unable to mount a rally.
Ramsey led Unaka with 13 points, while Forney had 12 points. Whitehead finished with 10 points for the Unaka cause.
Brummitt paced Hampton with 10 points. Guy tallied seven points.
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