Bulldogs clip Falcons

By Matt Hill

   If everybody on a high school basketball team received a bag of french fries for every free-throw made, the Hampton Bulldogs would probably have higher cholesterol levels after the performance they put on from the charity stripe Tuesday night.
   Hampton made 28 out of 36 attempts from the foul line en route to a 63-59 win over the Volunteer Falcons at Van-Huss White Gym.
   "They put us on there a lot," Hampton head coach Jerry White said. "We did a lot better on our free-throws. That was the difference in the ball game."
   Another difference in the game was defense. Hampton made some big defensive plays, but the most significant came with about nine seconds left.
   Volunteer was down 61-59 in the waning moments, and the Falcons were looking to tie the game. But Kevin Harrison came up with a huge steal, and was fouled.
   Harrison made two foul shots, and the game was in the books.
   "That was a big steal at the end," White said. "That just about ices it when you do that."
   The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair. Volunteer led 43-41 going into the frame, but three straight treys by Zack Ensor gave Hampton a 50-45 lead.
   "Those three threes sort of broke their back," White said. "He can go on streaks like that. They were really packing it in on us at that time, and they gave us the shot and we were able to hit three of them."
   Volunteer went on a spurt to tie the contest at 52-52 before Hampton rallied for a 7-2 run of its own to go ahead 59-54 with 1:55 left.
   Volunteer also managed to draw some fouls, and used free-throw shooting to cut Hampton's edge down to 60-59 with :52 seconds left.
   From there Harrison took over by making three foul shots, and by coming up with the huge steal to seal the deal for Hampton.
   "I thought Hampton made some runs and I thought we responded to some of their runs pretty well," said Falcons coach Todd Whittemore. "It was a sloppy game -- I thought both teams played very hard. We didn't make some decisions down the stretch that we needed to win."
   Hampton played the second half without star post player Ryan Deskins, who turned his ankle in the contest. He should be back for Friday's showdown with Elizabethton.
   Ensor had 15 for Hampton and Harrison scored 11, but leading the way for the home team was Matthew Campbell. He poured in 16 on the night, and was a real presence inside.
   "Great game for Matthew Campbell," White said. "He hustled all night, got on the boards good. He's just a good garbage man for us. I'm well pleased with the way he's played."
   Ryan Marshall topped Volunteer with 14 points.
   The Bulldogs are now 11-6 overall and 4-1 in the Watauga Conference.
   Hampton definitely looks like it could give the Watauga Conference leaders all they want Friday at Treadway Gym.
   Campbell is very confident about his team's chances.
   "If we come out and are ready to play, have our heads right and everything, I think we've got a good shot at winning," Campbell said.
   Volunteer falls to 9-8 overall and 3-2 in Watauga play.
   Hampton 70
   Volunteer 36
   The Lady Bulldogs rebounded from a tough Friday loss to Sullivan Central by thrashing the Lady Falcons.
   "Our game plan was to play four quarters, and our game plan was not to put ourselves in a hole," Hampton head coach Leslie Campbell said. "We wanted to get out and get a jump on them, and put them in a hole right off the bat.
   The Lady Bulldogs did just that, as they outscored the Lady Falcons 17-4 in the first quarter and never looked back.
   Hampton hit 12 three-pointers, but seven of those were by Kelly Shoun. Campbell believes that broke the school record for three-pointers in a game.
   Shoun broke the record with about a minute to go in the contest.
   "They were talking on the bench that she had six," Campbell said. "But I wanted to get her back in there so she could have the record if I'm not mistaken."
   It was a total team effort for Hampton. Shoun scored 23, Alison Pierce netted 15, and Kari Stout had 13 for the Lady Bulldogs.
   On Friday night against Central, Stout scored 32 of her team's 42 points. Shoun and the Lady Bulldogs were determined to show that the team is not a one-woman show.
   "It's usually not a one-player game," Shoun said about the Lady Bulldogs. "Kari stepped up and played when she needed to. Tonight we were all just hot, and we were playing together as a team."
   Joy Dobbs led the Lady Falcons with 11.
   Hampton improves to 9-6 overall, and 4-1 in conference play. Volunteer drops to 10-4 overall, and 3-2 in the Watauga.
   JV Boys
   Volunteer 53
   Hampton 51 (OT)
   Ben Southam hit the game-winning shot with six seconds to go, as the Falcons edged the Bulldogs.
   Josh Moss led Hampton with 14 points. Greg Osborne and Michael McCall added 13 and 11, respectively for the Bulldogs.