Bulldogs pull away for win
Today at 7:03 PM
HAMPTON — Even without Cody McClain, Hampton still hit plenty of big shots — none more important than Cheyenne Camillo's delivery at the third-quarter buzzer.
Camillo's 3-pointer sent the Bulldogs into the fourth quarter with an eight-point lead, and they ran away for a 65-52 win over rival Johnson County on Tuesday night at White-Van Huss Gymnasium.
Hampton improved to 12-6 on the season while the Longhorns fell to 10-13.
Johnson County looked like the better team in the first quarter, building a 14-5 edge and competing hard on both sides of the floor. However, when Hampton started matching the Longhorns' intensity, the game started to swing in the Bulldogs' favor.
“The kids stepped up and played without Cody,” said Hampton head coach Ned Smith, whose team is missing its standout guard because of knee tendinitis. “We moved the ball real well, and got the ball inside to Stanley and Johnny. The kids played together better.”
Valentine was a force in the paint for Hampton. He finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds in an impressive double-double effort.
“That was one of the big things we talked about,” said Smith. “We wanted Stanley and Johnny to go hard to the boards. That makes us a lot better.”
Fields also battled inside, and finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Hampton led 26-25 at halftime, thanks to a late bucket from Valentine. With the Bulldogs leading 45-39 and time running down in the third quarter, Fields kicked the ball out to Camillo, who hit his third 3-stick of the quarter.
“That was a big shot,” said Smith. “Nobody forced a shot, and Johnny was doubled. He fanned the ball back out, and we shoot pretty good when we do that.”
Hampton then opened the fourth quarter with a 13-2 spurt to put the game away.
Camillo finished with 13 points. Wesley Murray, forced to run the point with McClain out, totaled nine points.
“This was a big win going into North Greene on Friday,” said Smith. “We hope to get a little confidence from this one, and hope it carries over to Friday night.”
Johnson County got 11 points apiece from Dalton Timbs, J.R. Speed and Brian Dempsey, who added seven rebounds.