The Hampton boys basketball team came up short in a thriller on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs came up short in a 65-62 decision to Unicoi County on Saturday night, while the Lady Bulldogs picked up a 73-59 win over the Lady Blue Devils.
In the boys’ game, it was a heavyweight battle from the opening tip.
After Unicoi County scored the first four points of the game, Cadon Buckles had a quick 4-0 run of his own and scored the first 11 points for Hampton as the Bulldogs and Blue Devils were tied at 11-11 with just over three minutes to play in the first half.
Hayden Campbell hit a pair of free throws while Michael Anspaugh hit two 3-pointers to give Hampton a slim lead before Unicoi County hit a buzzer-beater from just inside the half-court line to tie things up at 19-19 after a quarter of play.
The back-and-forth nature continued in the second quarter as neither team could get much separation. Campbell and Buckles provided the offense for Hampton, but Until used a quick 5-0 run to take a six-point lead late in the quarter.
Buckles and Anspaugh, however, hit back-to-back shots to pull the Bulldogs within 36-34 at the half.
Campbell sparked an 8-2 Hampton run to open the third quarter that was capped by back-to-back shots from Levi Lyons. Unicoi answered with a 7-0 run of their own and ended the quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 50-47 lead into the final eight minutes.
After Unicoi pushed the lead to 58-50 early in the fourth, Hampton battled back.
An 11-2 run gave Hampton a 61-60 lead with 1:50 to play, but Unicoi’s Eli Johnson regained the lead for the Blue Devils with just over a minute to play.
Hampton was unable to get back in front in the final minute as the Blue Devils secured the win.
Buckles led Hampton with 28 points, while Anspaugh had 14 points. Campbell finished with 11 points.
Lyon ended the night with seven points.
Grant Hensley led Unicoi with 23 points, while Johnson had 15 points.
In the girls’ game, the Lady Bulldogs opened the game quickly as Ryleigh Nickles, Macy Henry, and Madi McClain hit shots in an 11-3 run to open the game. After Unicoi reeled off 11 straight to take a slim lead, Taylor Berry, Linsey Jenkins, and McClain hit key shots to give Hampton a 20-16 lead after a quarter of play.
The Lady Bulldogs quickly added to the lead to open the second, and Hampton took a 39-27 lead into the locker room.
Unicoi County methodically cut into the lead in the third quarter as the Lady Blue Devils used a 15-2 run to close within four points with under two minutes to play in the third. Piper
Helle stopped the win with an old-fashioned 3-point play, and McClain went on an 8-2 run of her own to push the lead back to 10 points with eight minutes remaining.
From there, Hampton was able to take care of business and secure the win.
McClain had 21 points to lead Hampton, while Henry, Berry, and Jenkins had 13 points a piece. Helle added 11 points.
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