Lady 'Dogs prevail; Lady Warriors lose

Photo by John Bryant
Hampton’s Pam Montgomery works the ball toward the inside as Science Hill’s Stephanie Phelps gives defensive pursuit.

  One thing was for certain Wednesday night: Hampton senior guard Heather Chambers thrives under pressure.
  After getting in first-half foul trouble, Chambers settled down in the second half and scored 15 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. That led the way in the Lady Dogs' 52-46 season opening win over the Science Hill Lady Toppers in the Valley Forge Auction Thanksgiving Classic at Happy Valley.
  "She was kind of upset with herself (in the first half)," said Hampton coach Leslie Campbell of Chambers. "Then she came out in the third and it took her a few minutes to get into the flow. But once she got into it, she settled down and played her game."
  Chambers recorded two fouls in the first minute of the game before taking to the bench. She helped the team hold off a late Lady Topper charge in the fourth with two treys and solid shooting from the charity stripe.
  "If I stopped fouling, I'd probably do a lot better," Chambers said. "Les told me before the game not to foul, but I got two in the first minute. I hope I learned my lesson this time."
  Aside from Chambers' solid late performance, Hampton played good team ball.
  The Lady 'Dogs came through with big clutch buckets from the top to the bottom of the lineup and played solid defense at times against the athletic triple-A Lady 'Topper squad.
  "It was definitely a good game," Campbell said. "It was our first one out, so they had the nerves going on. But overall, their performance was real well and they played exceptional team basketball tonight."
  "If they're aggressive, we've got the best defense around," she said. "But when one person slacks, that always seems to be the person we get beat on the boards with. That's definitely something we have to work on. We've got a long way to go, but we're putting it together."
  Jessi Price also stepped up with 13 points, while Lauren Pitman tallied 12 for the Lady 'Dogs. Their biggest contribution came in the opening period as Science Hill led the majority of the frame before a pair of Pitman treys and some inside buckets from Price built a 14-11 Hampton lead going into the second quarter.
  Hampton stretched out a five-point lead in the second, but Danielle Davis led the Lady 'Toppers back to tie things up with under two minutes left.
  The third quarter was a foul-fest on each side, with both teams combining for just three two-point buckets in the stanza.
  At the top of the fourth, Chambers hit a three and drew a flagrant foul. After hitting both of her free throws, Price and Tinsman added buckets to give Hampton an 11-point lead.
  However, the Lady 'Toppers roared right back with an 11-point frame from Emma MacMillan, who led her team within two points.
  Hampton stepped up their defense and Chambers hit another trey, but Science Hill stayed right on their tails.
  The turning point of the quarter came when Chambers hit a pair of clutch free throws, then recorded a steal and drew a foul on the ensuing Topper possession. That led Hampton to an eight-point lead and forced the Lady 'Toppers to begin hacking away.
  The Lady 'Dogs were 15-of-22 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, 9-of-10 of which were shot by the senior Chambers.
  "We had good teamwork tonight, and the whole team stepped up and did their part," Chambers said.
  Aside from MacMillan's 11-point effort, Davis tallied 10 points for Science Hill. Stephanie Phelps had five points for the Lady Toppers, who had four other players with four points each.
  Hampton continues tournament action today against West Greene.
 University High 50

  Happy Valley 43

  The tournament opener was there for Lady Warriors' taking after a solid second quarter, but poor fourth-quarter play led the University High Lady Bucs to a seven-point comeback win at Bayless Gym.
  University High led 14-12 after the first quarter, but the Happy Valley stepped up its defensive play in the second quarter with a solid 16-5 run to build a nine-point, 28-19 haltime lead.
  The Lady Bucs sliced it to a four-point game going into the fourth quarter, where the squad just dominated the boards and hit big shots on a 16-5 run which sealed the win.
  "I thought we played a good first half and got some things done," said Happy Valley coach Ben Godsey. "Mentally, we quit after that. Our third quarter was just awful. We didn't take care of the ball.
  "We had our chances though, but they wanted it more than we did. It felt like we quit in the second half. You've got to give them credit. They've got good athletes."
  University High had three players wind up scoring in the double digits, led by a solid 16-point effort from the talented Kristy Bennett, who also downed three big treys in the game.
  Tory Vance tallied 12 points, while Dyanna Bowens came through with 10 for the Lady Bucs.
  For Happy Valley, inside post Keila Williams led the team with 15 points. Guard Brandi Dugger finished with nine points and Amber Duncan added six for the Lady Tribe.
  The Lady Warriors' biggest problem in the game came from the free throw line, as the team shot only 11-of-23 from the stripe in the contest. It also didn't help to lose senior Kate Powell to a knee injury.
  "We felt like she could go tonight, but she hurt her other knee," said Godsey of Powell, who had injured a knee previously.
  In between the Happy Valley and Hampton games, a 17-point effort from Melinda Levassear led David Crockett to a 47-41 victory over Gatlinburg-Pitman.