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Hampton teams carve out Watauga Valley victories

Pat Kenney • Jan 4, 2019 at 11:08 PM

KINGSPORT— Home sweet home. Sometimes not so much.

Hampton came to J. Richard Carroll Gymnasium on Friday and swept a Watauga Valley Conference basketball doubleheader from Sullivan North.

In the boys game, the Bulldogs rallied from an early seven-point deficit to upend the Golden Raiders 59-46. Earlier, the Lady ’Dogs blew open the game in the second half and cruised to a convincing 45-22 victory.

North (3-11, 0-2) built a 15-8 lead with a minute to go in the first quarter of the boys contest. The Golden Raiders still had a 17-11 advantage with 6:50 left in the half before Hampton (11-6, 2-0) went on a 15-6 run to lead 26-23 at the half.

The Raiders opened the second half with a rally of their own and eventually tied the contest 31-all with 3:23 left in the third quarter. But that proved to be their last hurrah.

Hampton responded with a 15-2 scoring splurge, building a 46-33 Bulldogs lead heading into the final stanza. The damage had been done and the Raiders could not recover.

“Our defense won us the ballgame,” said Hampton coach Ned Smith. “We subbed freely and kept fresh legs on the floor. I thought it began to payoff in the third quarter.”

North turned the ball over 27 times.

“When you do that, you’re not going to win many games,” said North coach Travis Cain. “We played well in the first quarter but after that we didn’t play as a team. I’ve got to do a better job of coaching in those situations.”

North suffered from foul trouble all night. Trey Williams, the Raiders leading scorer, fouled out in the third quarter and North had two other players foul out in the fourth.

Jordan Bentley led Hampton with 14 points while Morgan Lyons added 11. Isaiah Pruitt had four 3-pointers on the way to a team-high 14 points for North with Dale Potter scoring 10.

In the girls game, the Lady Bulldogs held a slim 18-16 lead heading into the second half. But a stout defensive effort limited North to just six second-half points.

“I told the girls if they didn’t get after it defensively in the second half they would come to the bench,” said Hampton coach Bud Hazelwood. “This win should help build our confidence.”

The young Lady Golden Raiders are still finding their way.

“We panicked there in the third quarter,” said North coach Chris Salley. “We weren’t able to handle the adversity. But nobody is going to feel sorry for us; we just have to continue to work to get better.”

Stephanie Campbell and Leanne Guinn had 10 points each for the Lady Bulldogs. Lilly Crawford had a game-high 12 points for North.

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