Lady Bulldogs ground Falcons

By Marvin Birchfield

   The Lady Bulldogs proved they still have plenty of bite, as they avenged the loss of Volunteer from a few weeks ago by defeating the Lady Falcons in a 52-49 final at VanHuss-White Gym on Tuesday night.
   Hampton wasn't faced with a large deficit at the half this time around, for they kept it close throughout to come away with win in the final period.
   "It was a definite turnaround. We've grown up a little more, and they are finally starting to play together," said Lady Bulldog coach Leslie Campbell.
   The game was tied at 8-8 after the first period of play, as Hampton managed to get a couple of baskets from Joy Gardner and Lauren Pitman.
   The 'Dogs grabbed the early advantage in the second quarter, when Jessica Tolley rebounded for the score and nailed a 15-foot jumper.
   "The coach told me if I didn't start playing, then I would set on the bench, so I tried to step it up and do my part," said Tolley.
   Volunteer went on a 10-2 run to end the period with Hampton trailing 18-14 at the break.
   Hampton reassumed the lead to start the third quarter, when Tolley drew a foul inside for a three-point play, and Jessie Price sank two free throws.
   The Falcons stormed back with a couple of steals by Jacklyn Talbert to give them a 29-26 lead heading into the final period.
   Some big shots from the outside came for Hampton in the fourth quarter.
   A rebound and score by Lindsey Harsh and three-point goal from Lauren Pittman gave the 'Dogs a quick lead to start the period.
   Two more three pointers from Laci Oliver and Kristi Clark gave Hampton its biggest lead of the game at 40-34 with 4:48 left to play.
   "I felt pretty good in shooting the ball tonight, and we played real well together as a team," said Clark.
   Sarah Mullins kept the Falcons in the ball game in the final minutes by pouring in eight scores, but the Lady 'Dogs were able to prevail with some key free throws in the end.
   "We finally were able to play all four quarters, and I think that was a big difference in the game," said Campbell.
   Volunteer 83
   Hampton 72
   It wasn't a victory for Hampton in its battle with Volunteer on Tuesday, but it sure was a lot better effort than they previously had as the Falcons won 83-72.
   The 'Dogs managed to hang close with Volunteer throughout, despite having a not-so-good quarter in the third period.
   "Seems like we always have one bad quarter, and we played with them this time but just couldn't get the breaks on some of the calls," said Bud Hazelwood.
   Hampton led after the first period, when Greg Osborne hit two three-point goals and Michael McCall sank two free throws for an 11-10 score.
   Volunteer reeled off a 16-4 run in the first four minutes of the second quarter, as Chucky Lindholm scored 12 for the Falcons during the period.
   Hampton made a nice rally down the stretch of the first half by knocking down 9-of-10 free throws.
   The Falcons led 36-30 at the half, but a combination of Lindholm and good free-throw shooting was all that separated the 'Dogs from having the advantage.
   "They can find you when you're open, and I thought my teammates did a good job of passing the ball and finding the open man," said Lindholm.
   Volunteer picked up the intensity in the third period, as it caused Hampton trouble in getting the ball down the floor.
   The 'Dogs fell behind 59-44 by the end of the period, but they were still digging on offense to start the fourth.
   "We had a couple of good spurts through the second quarter, but in the third we really took off of got ourselves a nice cushion," said Volunteer coach Todd Whittemore.
   Josh Moss got on track to nail three three-point goals to keep the lead to around 10 points, along with Osborne who hit his third three-point goal.
   "We got some threes and got halfway back in it, but we had some turnovers where they got some easy baskets on," said Hazelwood.
   Hampton never quite managed to get within striking distance, as Lindholm found his zone by grabbing 10 boards and scoring 36 points, 14 of which came in the final period of play.
   Osborne led the 'Dogs with 22 points on the night, while McCall added 14 on the inside.
   "The team looks to me to be a leader, so I have to assume the role and step it up and help make things happen," said Osborne.