Greeneville squeaks by Hampton

Photo by Kristen Luther
Hampton’s Jordan Honeycutt goes up down low for two points.

  In Hall of Fame basketball action Saturday night at Elizabethton's Treadway Gym, Hampton showed signs of promise while losing a 42-38 heartbreaker to Greeneville.
  Hampton had a couple of opportunities to steal the win at the end, but a missed three-point goal from Lucas Arwood with 15 seconds left and turnovers denied them the victory.
  "The kids give me great effort and that's all you can ask for," said Hampton coach Mark McClain. "We had a lot of opportunities, but we turned the ball over too many times toward the end of the game, and that kills you. I was still pleased with the effort."
  The Bulldogs jumped out to take a 10-7 lead at the end of the first period. Two three-point goals from Lucas Honeycutt enabled Hampton to gain the early momentum.
  Greeneville came back to take a five-point advantage at halftime, as Andrew Shumate led the Greene Devils in scoring with 15 points on the night and seven in the period.
  After trailing 20-15 at the half, the Bulldogs had a strong third period to take a three-point lead.
  The defensive pressure from Hampton forced several backcourt turnovers, with Jordan Honeycutt converting a couple of baskets off steals.
  "Defense is something we're going to have to depend on, because I don't think we're going to go out and outscore anybody, so our defensive pressure and rebounds is really going to be key for us," said McClain. "The kids played hard and they are just a few things we need to fix, and if we can fix those things then we'll be a decent little ball club."
  Alex Ingram provided some good stability on offense by knocking down a 15-foot jumper and a couple of shots down low, which sent the Bulldogs on a 14-2 run to end the third quarter.
  Greeneville came back out to retake control in the first three minutes, as it went on an 8-0 run to start the final period.
  Hampton retaliated by outscoring the Greene Devils 7-2 in the next several minutes, after a free-throw by Ingram and a couple from Lucas Honeycutt kept the game tied.
  "I'm a coach and would always like to get the win, but I see some mistakes that we need to fix, but if we correct those mistakes and work on some things we'll be all right," said McClain.
  The Bulldogs had a chance to grab the lead with 1:33 left on the clock, but Arwood was unable to connect at the line on a two shot attempt.
  Tracy Chapman drew a foul off an offensive rebound for Greeneville, sending him to the foul line, where he sank both free throws.
  Hampton still had a chance after turning the ball over down the stretch, but a three-point attempt by Arwood rimmed off to the side.
  The Bulldogs gave a great effort in the final minutes, but a few key turnovers and missed opportunities eliminated their hopes, while Greeneville avoided the scare.
  "It wasn't to do with Hampton, but our ignorance," said Greeneville coach Billy Duncan. "We don't know how to play people like that -- try too play tempo and hold the ball. I applaud the Hampton coach. He's going to do what it takes for him to win, but that's going to help us. We didn't know mentally how to handle what he did
  "He's going to do a good job, because I thought his kids worked extra hard and played with a lot of class, so I wish him nothing but success."