'Dogs blast Carter

Photo by John Bryant
Hampton’s Lucas Honeycut takes a jumper from the foul line.

  JONESBOROUGH--The Hampton Bulldogs came out slinging points, and defensively, they were stinging Hornets.
  In the opening battle of the Hardee's-Black Tie Formalwear Classic at David Crockett High School, the 'Dogs rebounded from Friday's close opening loss to Greeneville in its 70-39 spanking of the Knox Carter Hornets.
  Hampton put a lot of defensive pressure on Carter, while executing its up-tempo, fast paced offense to a tee.
  The Bulldogs led by as much as 35 in the first McClain era victory.
  "It's a new coach, new system," said Hampton coach Mark McClain. "I thought the kids played awfully hard. They played hard all night. They played good defense and did what we asked. We improved from the Hall of Fame game, which is all you can ask for."
  Coming off of a four-point loss to a tough Greeneville squad, Hampton got on a roll early with big inside buckets from Daniel Smith and Jordan Honeycutt to open up an eight-point advantage.
  Carter came back with three buckets from its sharp-shooter V.J. Sullivan to close the gap to four late in the period, but the 'Dogs came away with an 18-12 edge.
  The second quarter was all Hampton.
  Holding Carter to just three-second quarter buckets, the Bulldogs had a big seven-point quarter from Alex Ingram and got clutch buckets from Travis Smith, Gene Sanchez and Jonathan Lyons during the frame.
  Hampton scored 20 points during the period and built a 38-18 halftime lead.
  "That's our style," McClain said. "Get up and down the court, and play good defense. Tonight our shots fell. When your shots fall and you play hard, you've got a good chance to win."
  The third quarter wasn't much different. Sullivan was the only Hornet to contribute significant offensive numbers as the 'Dogs outscored the team 21-8.
  Lucas Honeycutt busted two three-pointers in his 10-point period, while Lucas Arwood, Ingram and Smith contributed big plays.
  Hampton slowly built its lead to 35, but Carter fought back at the beginning of the fourth.
  Sullivan hit five buckets, while teammate E.J. Brown contributed four points to close down on the Hampton lead.
  Several young players stepped up in the frame, as Bobby James, Justin Bentley and Jarred Irick each kept putting numbers on the scoreboard until the final buzzer.
  "We had to go out there and hustle,? said Ingram, who led the Bulldogs with 16 points and two treys. "That's all you can do. We don?t have anything to gun for right now. We just wanted to pull ahead and start the season right."
  Daniel Smith had nine of his 11 points in the first half for the 'Dogs, while Lucas Honeycutt contributed 14. Tyler Smith added seven and Arwood had five for the squad.
  For Carter, Sullivan cranked out 25 points, while Brown tallied six.
  The Hampton players like the style of ball they are playing and think it can amount to some success in the Watauga Conference.
  "We're going to play that way all year," Ingram added. "It's going to help us and I think we're going to run on some teams this year. Everybody on the team, even our big men, can run."