North holds on to defeat Lady 'Dogs

By Matt Hill

STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com

   The Hampton Lady Bulldogs struggled from the field in the first three quarters on Friday night against Sullivan North. They heated up just enough in the fourth to nearly force overtime.
   Heather Chambers put back a Kristi Clark three-point attempt at the final buzzer, but the Lady Raiders held on for a 40-39 victory at VanHuss-White Gym.
   Had the three-pointer gone in, the game would have been sent to overtime.
   "I'm pleased with the way they hustled and their aggressiveness, but sometimes we lack here and there with it," Hampton head coach Leslie Campbell said. "But we're not going to beat anybody shooting the way we're shooting."
   Just getting the game to the final seconds was an accomplishment for this young Lady Bulldog squad. Hampton trailed 37-29 with 3:27 left in the game, and it looked like North had it in the bag.
   But Hampton finally got clicking late in the contest. Two big buckets by Chambers, the latter one being a three-pointer, put the Bulldogs down three at 37-34 with 2:13 left in regulation.
   After the teams exchanged missed foul shots and turnovers, North's Amanda Frazier finally connected twice from the charity stripe to increase North's edge to 39-34 with 49 seconds left.
   Chambers then answered once again just nine seconds later to make it a 39-36 game. On the following possession, Frazier was called for an offensive foul, sending Hampton's Lauren Pittman to the line.
   Pittman made one out of two with 18 seconds to go, and the Lady Bulldogs trailed 39-37.
   That's as close as Hampton would get.
   After Frazier nailed one of two free-throws to extend the Raider lead to 40-37, the Lady Bulldogs called timeout after getting the basketball past half-court with eight seconds remaining.
   Clark then put up what would have been the game-tying shot, but it just wasn't meant to be for the Lady 'Dogs.
   If not for a 2-of-7 fourth quarter performance from the free-throw line, the Lady 'Dogs might not of had to worry about making a desperation three.Campbell was not really happy about that or the field goal shooting throughout the game.
   "They're open shots," Campbell said. "They're open lay-ups and especially free-throws. We're just not making them."
   Stretches in the first and third quarters might have told the tale in this one. In those two periods, the Lady Bulldogs combined for nine points.
   "We're not going to beat anybody trying to outshoot them," Campbell said. "We're going to have to learn to play together, work the ball around, and get something done until we start making our shots."
   It was a valiant effort by Chambers to try and get her team back into the contest. The point guard scored 10 of her 13 in the fourth quarter despite being in foul trouble.
   Joy Gardner was also in foul trouble and eventually fouled out late, but still managed 12 points for Hampton.
   Campbell was happy with the fourth-quarter effort.
   "North got the momentum, and then we quit," Campbell said. "But once we got the momentum, we got the intensity back and we were aggressive."
   Kristen Hughes topped Sullivan North with 14 points. Frazier added 10 for the Lady Raiders.
   Hampton is now 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the Watauga Conference. The Lady Bulldogs will be at home Monday night against Morristown West.