Hampton wouldn’t be denied.
The Bulldogs pulled away in the final quarter to take a 57-41 victory over Northview Academy in the Region 1-A semifinals at Chuckey-Doak.
With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to their eighth straight Region 1-A championship game as well as the substate round. Hampton will face Cosby in the Region 1-A title game – which was moved from Thursday to Friday after the girls’ championship was postponed from Wednesday to Thursday.
After the Cougars opened the scoring, Jose Velasquez and Ian Kelly hit shots to push Hampton into the lead. The Bulldogs countered each Northview shot for the rest of the quarter as Hampton took a 15-11 lead into the second quarter.
The Cougars used a run int the second quarter to close the gap and retake the lead. Charlie Butler, however, knocked down a trey as the half expired to tie things up at 22-22.
Adam McClain and the Bulldogs set the tone early in the third quarter.
McClain hit back-to-back shots and Wyatt Lyons knocked down a jumper to push the lead to six points. After Northview got on the board, Lyons took over scoring the next six Hampton points – including a dunk that energized the Hampton faithful.
The Cougars used a late 7-2 run to close the gap to one point entering the final quarter.
Lyons opened the fourth quarter scoring and Butler retook the momentum for Hampton with a 3-pointer. That proved to be a turning point as Hampton outscored Northview 16-6 the rest of the way to take the win.
Lyons and Butler led Hampton with 14 points apiece, while McClain added 10 points. Kelly finished with eight points.