Bulldogs dismiss Pioneers

By Marvin Birchfield

   The Hampton Bulldogs bit the Pioneers of David Crockett on Tuesday night, sniffing out a 74-62 victory at VanHuss-White Gymnasium.
   "I thought we beat a pretty good team, and this is good win for us to end the season with tournaments coming up," said Hampton coach Jerry White.
   The Pioneers took the early lead, when John McLucus received the ball inside and drew the foul from Zack Ensor for the three-point play.
   Hampton responded by scoring 13 unanswered points to grab a 10-point lead halfway through the first period.
   Back-to-back steals from Jeremy Hall and Ryan Deskins got the Bulldogs up and running, as they converted the fast break in transition.
   Deskins led the Bulldogs in scoring on the night with 23 points, while Hall added 21 and Kevin Harrison contributed 17.
   A three-point goal from Harrison made it 13-3, but the Pioneers were determined to fight back.
   David Crockett went on a tear to rattle off the next 12 scores, as Will Dunbar knocked down a couple of treys and a bucket with a minute left to give the lead back to the Pioneers.
   "We started out real good, and then they changed their defense and hit some threes to get back in the game," said White.
   Dunbar paced the Pioneers with 19 points, while Dereck Hamilton poured in 12, and Tyler Estep finished with 11.
   Deskins was able to put up a three-point shot with time expiring, which gave the Bulldogs a 16-15 lead after the first quarter of play.
   "We just had to come out and play our game, and we stepped it up on defense," Deskins said. "We have been slacking lately."
   The Pioneers started the second quarter with Kevin Hammonds getting on track. He sank two three-point goals to give Crockett its biggest lead of the game, which was five.
   Hampton came back to tie it with two minutes left, after Deskins received the pass inside from Hall for the score.
   "This win helps us going into the tournament," said Deskins. "It lifts us up and gives us a good feeling going in."
   The Bulldogs regained the lead with less than a minute left, when Zack Ensor hit Deskins in the right corner for the three.
   Hampton had managed to squeak out a one-point advantage at the half, leading by the score of 34-33.
   In the third quarter of action, the Pioneers grabbed the lead once again, when Travis Butler banked the shot off the glass down-low.
   This was the last time that Crockett led, as Hampton went on a 9-0 run to gain its biggest advantage thus far.
   A couple of 15-foot jumpers from Hall gave the Bulldogs the boost to reassume control, taking a 48-43 lead after three quarters of action.
   During the last period, Crockett came back to cut the lead down to a one-point margin.
   A left-handed hook from Neal Bradley put the Pioneers back in business, as Hampton seemed to become a little rattled from the pressure.
   But the Bulldogs regained their composure by going on a 15-2 run to blow the game wide-open.
   "We hit a wall in the fourth quarter. It was 54-53, and then it was 63-53 before we scored again," said David Crockett coach Marty Street.
   Hall and Deskins took control on the inside to combine for 15 of Hampton's last-quarter points, giving the 'Dogs a pay-back win from the loss in the Hardee's Classic, where Crockett was victorious.
   "When you're playing a team like Hampton that can score, then you can't hit a flat spot, especially when you're playing on the road," said Street.
   Junior Varsity
   David Crockett's JV Boys made a last-quarter rally to slip past Hampton in a 57-54 final.
   "Our effort wasn't the best in the second half. We played some good defense to come back, but at the end we made some turnovers that cost us the game," said Hampton coach Mark McClain.
   After trailing 30-26 at halftime, the Bulldogs came back to knot the game at 42 apiece heading into the final quarter.
   Hampton finally acquired the lead since early in the first period of play, when Ben Harrison hit a basket to put the Bulldogs up by two.
   The Bulldogs led by as many as six with over four minutes left in regulation, but they were unable to hold on in the closing minutes, as Tyler Estep knocked down two three-point goals giving the Pioneers the victory.
   "We had a six-point lead at the end, but we didn't take care of it and play smart by doing the things it takes to win a ballgame," said McClain.
   Mitchell Morton, Shane Campbell Adam Miller, and Jacob Moss all had eight points to lead the Bulldogs.
   David Crockett was led by Travis Costner, who finished with 16 points, while Dereck Hamilton ended with 12, and Estep with 11.