Take a bow, Bulldogs.
I know you didn’t achieve your goal of bringing home a gold ball, but you put up a fight that will be remembered. For that, you deserve to take a bow.
Right now, I know these words ring hollow and they might for some time. However, Hampton shouldn’t hang their heads; in fact they should hold them up high.
The Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with a team that may finish Saturday as the state champion. That team was heavily favored – in fact many outside of Carter County didn’t even think it would be close.
Union City had blown by their postseason competition with an average victory of over 28 points, and was led by a Mr. Basketball candidate in Marcus DeBerry. In fact, the game could have been lost in the tunnel pregame by letting the praise around Union City get in between the ears.
However, the Bulldogs did anything but let the Golden Tornadoes have their way. Hampton showed grit and determination in fighting for every point. After going down 12 points late in the game, most teams would have packed up and went home, but not this group of Bulldogs. Instead, they battled back and contended for the win and semifinal berth.
In the end, the closing seconds didn’t go Hampton’s way, but at the end of the day the Bulldogs were winners in their own rights. Hampton and Carter County should be proud of the way that the Bulldogs represented because they showed a heart and desire most communities would love to have.
While it wasn’t the upset that gave Hampton a state championship like in 1960, it was as close as it could be.
Take a bow, Bulldogs. You earned it.
For photos and game story from yesterday, click here.