Hampton loses foul-fest at Crockett

By Matt Hill

   JONESBOROUGH- An Atlanta traffic cop couldn't have blown more whistles during rush hour than the officials calling the David Crockett-Hampton game did on Monday night.
   A total of 56 fouls were called during the Pioneers' 59-48 victory over the Bulldogs at David Crockett High School.
   Thirty-three of those fouls were called on Hampton, while Crockett was whistled for 23.
   During the third quarter, Crockett was shooting the double bonus with 1:15 to go in the frame. Hampton soon joined the Pioneers in the double bonus.
   There were so many fouls called that during the fourth quarter, a Crockett fan actually yelled to one of the referees to let the kids play after a Hampton foul.
   David Crockett head coach and former Happy Valley High standout Marty Street didn't think the game was that physical.
   "I didn't think so," Street said. "Both teams were out there playing hard. There were certainly fouls on both teams that should have been called, but there were a lot of picky fouls. But that's just the way they called it. I thought they were consistent. They called that way throughout the game.
   "They called it that way in both halves, and they called it that way for both teams. It's hard to really complain about it, because that's just the flow of the game. That's the way it was called tonight."
   Neither team could really get into a flow in this one, but the heavy foul calling might of actually helped Hampton. Crockett struggled from the foul line, making only 18 of 33 from the charity stripe.
   "That might be our best type of game," Hampton head coach Bud Hazelwood said. "We really played hard on defense. It might have been to our advantage to play that type of ball. I thought we played harder than they did, but they got more foul shots than us I guess."
   The Bulldogs were playing well before getting into foul trouble.
   Counting an incredible half-court shot by Josh Moss right before the end of the half, Hampton's 12-0 run at the end of the second quarter and into the beginning of the third quarter propelled it to a 32-30 lead.
   Crockett quickly regained the lead, but it was a nip and tuck battle until the end when Hampton had to foul, and Crockett hit just enough shots from the charity stripe to pull away.
   "You can't blame it on the referees," Hampton guard Josh Moss said. "We made the mistakes to lose the ball game, and we played to win the ball game. If we keep just making mental mistakes, then we're losing it on our part."
   The Bulldogs definitely took some positives from the contest. One was the play of Greg Osborne. Osborne fouled out in the fourth quarter after scoring 11 points, but more importantly, held Crockett sharp-shooter Kevin Hammons down to only nine.
   "I thought Greg Osborne set the tempo for the game," Hazelwood said. "He told me, I'm not going to worry about offense tonight. I put him on Hammons, and he's as good as any ball player in East Tennessee. For the most part he held him down. He just set the tone, and the rest of them just followed suit. I thought we played hard."
   Corey Hall came off the bench to score 11 points, while Mitchell Morton poured in 10 for Hampton.
   Josh Moss added eight second quarter points for the 'Dogs.
   William Haston topped Crockett with 14 points on the evening.
   As for all the fouls, Hazelwood was glad that at least the refs were calling it both ways.
   "As long as they call it both ways, I don't care," he said. "Let them play or let them mug it out. As long as they do it at both ends, I don't care."
   Hampton will be at home tonight against All-State Candidate Chucky Lindholm and the Volunteer Falcons.
   *If the night wasn't crazy enough, Crockett was called for a technical foul in the second quarter because of two players' numbers being wrong in the home team's scorebook.