Lady 'Dogs slither past UHS in OT

By C.Y. Peters


   Kari Stout connected on four 3-pointers in the opening quarter and added two more baskets for 16 points in leading Hampton to a 20-11 first-quarter start and 67-59 overtime victory over feisty Unaka on Tuesday night at Snavely Gym.
   Stout finished the night with a sizzling 36-point performance.
   After Stout's early flourish, the Lady Rangers settled down and started playing some basketball.
   In the second quarter Unaka held Stout to just one basket and outscored the 'Dogs 17-10 to pull with in two 30-28 at the half.
   Just before the half, Hampton coach Leslie Campbell was assessed a technical foul. The Rangers actually tied the game at that point, 28-28, then Alison Pierce hit a 10-foot jumper to give Hampton a two-point halftime lead.
   Freshman Danielle Ensor worked inside and was fouled to start the third as she sank both shots to tie the game at 30. From there, Joy Gardner bombed a long-distance three for Hampton.
   Julie Roberson worked the paint better than Sherwin-Williams last night, firing in shot after shot. She knotted the score at 34.
   Then sister Mandy Roberson gave the Rangers the lead on an off-balance fadeaway shot.
   After three straight turnovers Ensor gave the Rangers their biggest lead at 38-34. With 55 seconds left Stout tied the score at 38 from the free-throw line. The fullcourt press forced the Rangers to turn over the ball and Gardner busted a three, giving Hampton a 41-38 lead at the end of the third.
   The teams swapped baskets throughout the fourth, with each team leading several times. With 1:47 left the play the Rangers held a 51-47 advantage, when the 'Dogs called timeout to set up the last two-minute drill.
   Amanda Finney was fouled and made one of two foul shots to pull Hampton within three. Unaka went into a stall. They controlled the ball and ran the time down to 1:06, then disaster struck.
   Stout stole the ball and was intentionally fouled, giving her two free shots and the ball back. Stout connected on both shots and on the inbound play drove the baseline and shot a reverse layup to take the lead by one.
   Alesha Buckles was then fouled and hit one of the shots to tie the game and send it into overtime.
   The 'Dogs would shoot 19 foul shots in the overtime with Stout connecting on eight of them and putting away the victory for Hampton.
   Stout and Joy Gardner both connected on four threes each, Gardner scored 14 for the 'Dogs. Freshman Julie Roberson led Unaka with 24 points while Mandy Roberson scored 19, nailing four treys.