HV freshmen upend 'Dogs

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

   Coach Chuck Babb sent out his freshman war party to try and find a way to pen up the 'Dogs. He discovered the best way to do that was to put De-Fense around them and slam the gate shut.
   In a contest that appeared to be headed for a close and low-scoring affair, the Happy Valley Warriors frosh squad threw the book at the Hampton Bulldogs at VanHuss-White Gymnasium before discovering the secret was to play some good old-fashioned defense and that is exactly what they did in cruising to a 46-31 victory in a game that was deadlocked at 27-27 after three quarters of play.
   "We threw everything in the book offensively at them in the first half and just couldn't score," stated Warrior freshman coach Chuck Babb. "We got more active in the second half and our defensive pressure created the offense for us."
   The game in the first half was one where the scoreboard keeper could have taken a nap and caught back up at the half as neither team could buy a bucket. Not to say neither team didn't put forth an effort because both teams spent most of the time hustling after loose balls on the floor and making nice defensive stops on drives to the basket.
   This game wasn't meant for a person who loves scoring as Hampton edged out to an early 7-6 lead after one quarter of play. Lance Harsh did the damage for the 'Dogs as he collected five of the seven points in the period.
   Hampton managed to pick up the pace a little in the second as they added 11 points to their total while holding the Warriors to six more points to maintain a 18-12 lead at the intermission. Lucas Arwood nailed a trey and a field goal to set the tone for the 'Dogs in the quarter.
   Ricky Morgan and Chris Rutledge collected four points each in the first half to keep the Warriors within range of Hampton.
   The second half saw an aggressive Warrior team take the floor and thanks to a menacing press defense, create enough confusion that the 'Dogs struggled to get the ball to their end of the court. Happy Valley feed off the intensive effort on the defensive end to outscore Hampton 15-9 and bring the game to a 27-27 tally after three complete.
   Ryan May was slicker than the sleigh run on Warrior Hill as he slid through the 'Dog defense for two easy lay-ins and also drew a foul to sink both free throws in scoring six in the period. Rodney Armstrong provided ample support as he netted four points and Drew Davis collected three in the run that helped the Warriors overcome the halftime deficit and pull even.
   "I thought that dishing the ball inside to May worked better than I anticipated," stated Babb. "We decided to just keep doing the same thing since it was working better than anything else we tried."
   The fourth quarter was the nail in the coffin for the 'Dogs as Happy Valley applied a relentless defense which totally caused the 'Dog offense to fall apart and allowed the Warriors to war dance their way to a convincing 15 point victory.
   May collected scoring honors for the Warriors with 10 followed by Rutledge with 9 while Morgan and Armstrong finished with seven each.
   Harsh was the game's high-scorer with 13 for Hampton. Arwood tallied seven with Alex Ingram netting five for the 'Dogs.
   It was a game where Hampton coach Wayne Ellis felt his team had a shot at the first place Warriors, but unfortunately faltered at the end.
   "We came out and played really well for three quarters," said Ellis. "Their press created problems for us and we just couldn't do anything with it in the second half."
   Added Ellis: "We definitely have something to work on in practice between now and tournament time. We have got to do a better job with it or the same thing will happen again."
   The Warriors improve to a perfect 7-0 on the young season while the Bulldogs fall to a respectable 5-3, with two losses being to the Warriors.