Bulldogs upend Raiders

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Tuesday night's game at VanHuss-White Gymnasium was like a bowl of Rice Krispies. After being down by nine points in the third quarter, the Hampton Bulldogs 'snapped' into the Sullivan North offense, 'crackled' the Golden Raiders' sharpshooting tandem, and 'popped' their way to the top for a big 58-46 comeback win.
   "Our press gave us some big turnovers," said Hampton coach Jerry White. "We started making shots and ran our offense. We rebounded well after a cold first half, and came away with it.
   "Sometimes if you struggle on offense and bare down on defense, the offense will come and you will get better shot selection. That's what happened tonight."
   Hampton started the game on top taking a quick 4-0 lead, but Sullivan North, led by Josh Arnold and Brian Thompson, quickly rose to the top, taking a 14-9 lead after the first quarter. Hampton would play a better second quarter with strong play from Zack Ensor and Kevin Harrison, but fell behind to the tough inside play from Phillip Scansellone, who keyed a 28-21 lead at the half by the Raiders.
   "We just weren't getting it in the first half," said Hampton's Ryan Deskins. "We had to work it around some more to make our shots."
   The third quarter would be the rise and collapse of the Sullivan North army as Jeremy Hall lit it up early, helping Hampton pull within one point. From there, Jeff Clark hit the biggest shot of the night to put the Bulldog team on top.
   "We just started elevating and played defense," said Zack Ensor. "We executed well and pulled it out."
   It would all go downhill from that point on, as North crumbled to the towering Hampton defense. Great play from Deskins and Matthew Campbell helped the Bulldogs prevail into the fourth quarter, taking the 43-37 lead.
   Hampton would play their 'A-game' from there on out, blasting in shots from everywhere, but when it mattered most the team stepped it up at the foul line to put it away with a 58-46 win.
   "We just came out and did what we didn't do in the first," said Hall. "We took our time and played good defense."
   Deskins and Hall led Hampton with 15 points each, while Ensor contributed 12. Arnold and Scansellone made double digits for North with 12 and 15, respectively.
   Lady Bulldogs 66
   Lady Golden Raiders 56
   The opening contest was a slobberknocker from the beginning to the end as Hampton pulled out a fairly close win over the Lady Raiders.
   "It wasn't pretty but we'll take it," said Hampton coach Leslie Campbell. "We made some immature mistakes out there. It seems like everytime we get frustrated we foul and do not play as a team."
   It was a complete slugfest in the first quarter as both teams aired out a three-point assault, but it was Hampton getting the best of them, 19-14, after one.
   The second quarter was mostly defense and turnovers, but Kari Stout and Kelly Shoun helped give Hampton a 28-22 lead after the first half.
   The second half was all Lady Bulldogs, as Alison Pierce and Joy Gardner helped stop Kim Jessee, who led the game with 20 points for North.
   Hampton did what they had to do, and came away with the big victory.
   "It sure wasn't pretty," said Pierce. "It's a win and we'll take it. We rebounded better tonight. It's something we've got to work on."
   Said Stout: "We played as a team late. We had good defense, better than we have been doing. We just need to be consistent."
   Stout and Pierce led Hampton with 18 points apiece, while Shoun added 13 for the Lady 'Dogs. Amanda Frazier and Kristen Hughes had 10 for the Lady Raiders.