'Dogs bow to South

By Michelle Pope

   In game two of the Hardee's/Black Tie Formalwear Classic Tuesday evening at David Crockett High, Sullivan South knocked aside Hampton 64-49 during the Bulldogs' first time on the court this season.
   Hampton's debut didn't go like Coach Bud Hazelwood expected. "I had been telling them all week the Hampton teams of the past showed up for the game thinking they were supposed to win."
   It appeared as if Hampton might pull it off when the halftime buzzer sounded, with the 'Dogs trailing the Rebels by only five points.
   "The first half, we sort of played like that," Hazelwood said. "We could give the ball to Shane Campbell and Jacob Moss pretty good, and they were able to go one-on-one and score a little bit."
   Lucas Honeycutt and Travis Smith got the guard job done, bringing the ball down for the Bulldogs and setting up their teammates with shots.
   One could say that Brad Conkin's opening 3-point goal for South foreshadowed the outcome of the game, but Smith answered almost immediately with one of his own, tying the score at 3.
   However, 6'8" Rebel sophomore Levi Ashworth quickly made his mark on Hampton by plopping three rebounds back in the basket in the time that it took Hampton's Campbell to sink one goal from an Adam Miller pass.
   "Charlie Bayless (of Happy Valley) called me Sunday night," said Hazelwood. "He played them Friday, and he told me that they were a good solid ballclub. We expected it - they played good defense. The big kid (Ashworth) shot the ball. He was better than what we had anticipated."
   Ashworth scored sixteen points in field goals, and was 4 for 4 in free throws, leading the Rebel squad with twenty points.
   Campbell scored three more points for Hampton, and Miller sunk a three-pointer by the end of the first quarter, with Hampton beginning to close in on the Rebels, 11-13.
   In the second frame, Moss carried the Bulldogs by dropping five points before the half. After sinking a free throw, Moss took an NBA-style spin into a layup, prompting murmurs of approval from Hampton fans and opponents alike.
   With forty-five seconds left in the second quarter, South ran the clock down to ten seconds before going in for a shot, but their plan failed. The shot bricked, and Moss collected the rebound with less than nine seconds on the clock, racing down the court to set up Alex Ingram for a two-pointer before the buzzer sounded.
   In the third quarter, the 'Dogs began to struggle. While Beau Hauldren put up eight points for the Rebels, and Conkin hit another three, the 'Dogs were missing foul shots and lacking in the field goal department.
   "In the third quarter, I don't know whether they shut us down, or what," Hazelwood said. "We missed four or five foul shots in a row there, and Shane got one or two blocks. We were our own worst enemy there for a little stretch."
   The Bulldogs redoubled their efforts in the final quarter, with the help of a 3-pointer from Zack Trivette, and another from Smith, but it wasn't enough to catch up to South, who led 44-33 going into the last frame.
   "For a little while (in the fourth), we were making a comeback, but we didn't get back a time or two on the press," said Hazelwood.
   South had a team effort in the final minutes of the game, with a scoring frenzy that included eight players. Junior point guard Ben Conaway led the final scoring drive by putting up five points, followed by Ashworth with four.
   "It was a good win against a pretty good team," said Rebel coach Mark Pendleton. "We've got a lot of young guys, and we really came out in the second half. Our post players...got the job done tonight, which, if we're going to be any good, they have to do that."
   Although the game didn't go the way Hazelwood had planned, his season outlook is still optimistic.
   "I'm disappointed, but I'm not down on them," he said. "We're in our first game, and they've (South) got a couple under their belt now. That probably helped them a little bit. Rome wasn't built in a day. We'll bounce back."