Highs and lows of 1-AA tournament

By Allen LaMountain

   Congratulations to Hampton High School as both boys and girls advance to the regional tournament in Morristown next week as number one seeds.
   Hers are some of the highs and lows of the District 1-AA tournament played at Sullivan North High School this past week.
   Biggest disappointment (girls): Sullivan Central.
   The Lady Cougars came into the tourney as the number one seed, but were totally exposed by the Happy Valley Lady Warriors as poor outside shooters and eve worse free throw shooters.
   For a team that won 20 games and finished 12-2 in the Watauga Conference, they picked a bad time to have a bad game indeed.
   Biggest surprise (girls): Happy Valley.
   Not only for their upset of Sullivan Central, but for the way they played throughout the tournament. Head coach Ben Godsey did a tremendous job of instilling his team with confidence and showing a knack for changing up his game-plan and exposing the weaknesses of his teams' opponents.
   Brandi Dugger, Mandy Byrd and Kandra Roberts all shined in the games.
   Biggest surprise (boys): Hampton.
   No one but Hampton's fans really gave the Bulldogs much of a chance to beat the Cyclones, but you don't beat a Jerry White coached team three times. Especially with a title at stake.
   White's teams always seem to bite you when you least expect them to, and they always relish and play well in the underdog role.
   Biggest disappointment (boys): Happy Valley.
   Not that they were a big disappointment, but the way Sullivan Central played in this tournament, they were ripe for an upset and the Warriors simply didn't grasp the opportunity when it was presented to them.
   Biggest surprise individual (boys): Jordan Lambert (Elizabethton).
   Lambert would have been the hands down MVP had Betsy pulled out a win on Friday night, but his numbers were MVP caliber. Lambert averaged 18.7 points per game, pulled down 24 rebounds (second to only Redd in the tournament), hit 14-of-23 from two-point range (60.8 percent), and was even better from long range hitting five-of-eight (62.5 percent) and was a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line.
   Biggest individual disappointment: Terrill Carpenter (Volunteer).
   I expected to see another Sanchez Releford, but Carpenter had a rough time of it in this tournament averaging just 5.7 points a game and was a non-factor on the boards as the Falcons finished fourth.