The Hampton boys basketball team took control of their own destiny in the District 1-A race.

The Bulldogs rallied to take a thrilling 50-48 win over University High – handing the Bucs their first loss in district play and moving the two teams into a tie for the top spot. In the girls’ game, Hampton used a strong second half as they took an emotional 47-40 win over the Lady Bucs.

In the boys’ game, it was the hard-fought clash many expected.

Both the Bulldogs and Bucs hit shots to get the offense going in the first quarter. Hampton took a 16-13 lead into the second quarter with a last second 3-pointer. After University High took a seven-point lead in the second quarter, HHS answered with a quick 10-0 run to take a 31-28 advantage into the locker room.

The third quarter saw points come at a premium.

The Bulldogs were limited to just two points in the quarter while UH added 10 points to their total to take a five-point advantage into the final quarter. Hampton settled down in the final eight minutes outscoring UH 17-10, and secured the win from the free throw line in the closing minutes.

Caleb Oaks had 15 points to pace Hampton, while Jordan Bentley had 13 points. Conner Jones added eight points to the total.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Bulldogs battled back for a hard-fought win to honor assistant coach Jesse James – who tragically passed away earlier this week.

After UH took a 16-11 lead after a quarter of play, the Lady Bulldogs continued to battle as Stephanie Campbell scored five points in the quarter. UH, however, held on for a 28-20 lead at the break.

Hampton took control in the second half.

The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Bucs 14-3 in the third quarter – including five points from Bridgette Heaton and four points from Brooke Hughes. That allowed the Lady Bulldogs to take a 34-32 advantage into the fourth.

Hampton made sure to secure the win in the final quarter by limiting UH to just two field goals over the last eight minutes, and made key throws down the stretch.

Campbell finished with 16 points to lead Hampton, while Hughes had 13 points. Heaton added eight points to the HHS total.