Hampton beaten by Crockett; Lady 'Dogs remain unblemished

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Hampton Bulldogs had a hard time making a basket.
   In their home opener, the Bulldogs were held back by lay-ups and free throws. It allowed the duo of Tyler Estepp and Lance Booker to lead the David Crockett Pioneers to a 63-49 victory at VanHuss-White Gymnasium.
   "Lay up's and foul shots. If we make them, we're in the game and possibly ahead," said Hampton coach Bud Hazelwood. "We're not going to beat a decent team if we don't."
   Hampton played strong defense throughout the game, with the exception of the Crockett duo's 21 points apiece. The biggest help for the squad was that of Adam Miller, who tallied 29 of the squad's 49 points.
   "He's been carrying us the first three or four games and he was fussing at himself for missing free throws," Hazelwood said.
   Crockett opened the game on a 9-0 run behind Booker and Estepp, prompting a quick Bulldog timeout.
   Miller responded with five unanswered points to put Hampton back into the game. But the Booker was too much, keying the 19-11 lead. Miller was the only Bulldog to score in the period.
   Alex Ingram and Zac Trivette got on the board for the Dogs in the period, pulling them within a four-point deficit. But Dustin Henley and James Carper rolled some buckets to give their unit a 34-20 lead at the half.
   Booker and Estepp opened the second half in the same fashion as the first. However, Hampton began playing more team ball with Shane Campbell and Zac Trivette chipping in some buckets.
   Carper put the Pioneers up by 20 with three minutes left in the period.
   The final frame was controlled by both teams' defensive efforts.
   Miller again chimed in with points for Hampton, before a Gene Sanchez trey made things look respectable on the scoreboard. Sanchez and Miller continued to carry Hampton through the period.
   Lady Bulldogs 53
   Lady Pioneers 49
   It was another comeback story for the Hampton Lady Bulldogs.
   After losing a lead in the fourth quarter, the Lady 'Dogs (3-0) rallied behind a team effort to take a close four-point win in the earlier contest.
   "I don't know what that is," said Hampton coach Leslie Campbell of another comeback win. "It seems like we always have to dig ourselves out of a hole. It seems like we get satisfied once we get up and it kills us. We can't let up. "
   "The best thing going right now is our teamwork," she said. "Heather (Chambers), Lacey (Oliver) and Joy (Gardner) passes the ball and I have to brag on (Jessica) Tolley for getting the rebounds. Everybody's carrying the load."
   The Lady Bulldogs got out to a quick lead behind some hot shots from Joy Gardner and Heather Chambers.
   However, Crockett got big buckets from Melinda Levasuer and Brittney Hensley to pull towards a six-point advantage going into the second quarter.
   Hampton went down by eight in the period after Ashley Hill and Jessica Chandley made some buckets for the Lady Pioneers. The home squad rallied back with a big trey from Lauren Pitman, tying the game on a Pam Montgomery jumper.
   However, Hill grabbed two steals and turned them into points for her squad, giving Crockett the four-point lead at the half.
   Lacey Oliver and Heather Chambers brought Hampton back early in the period. A Gardner three gave them their first lead since the start of the contest and prompted Crockett to change things up.
   The Lady Bulldogs held a steady five-point into the final stanza.
   Hensley and Levasuer led Crockett back out to a lead, while Hampton had a hard time making a bucket in the early minutes.
   Gardner and Oliver made buckets to put Hampton back out to a three-point lead with two minutes remaining. The Lady Dogs ran the clock down and forced their opposition to begin fouling.
   Chambers succeeded from the stripe, putting Hampton up by three.
   Pittman and Chambers led Hampton with 14 points apiece, while Crockett's Hill and Hensley had 16 and 13 respectively.
   Hampton travels to Daniel Boone for a boys and girls contest tonight. Campbell believes the strong game will help them out.
   "I believe it will," she said. "It's only going to make us better in the long run."