Sharpshooter has Hampton going strong

Douglas Fritz • Jan 20, 2014 at 7:11 PM

There are three reasons why Hampton is more dangerous than a lot of boys’ basketball teams in the state.Perhaps it’s more accurate to say trey reasons.Regardless of how it’s stated, Cheyenne Camillo is a three-point problem for Bulldogs’ opponents. Standing at 18-2 overall and ranked No. 3 in the state, Hampton has the area’s top 3-point shooter in Camillo.Yes, Science Hill’s Calvin Songster and University High’s Marcus Taylor are right there, too. But Camillo stepped to the forefront with 13 trey balls in his last two games. He has 66 in 19 games this season for an average of 3.5 per contest.Camillo dropped a five spot on South Greene in Tuesday’s game before raining an eight parade on a snowy Friday night at Cloudland.Hampton has all of the elements of a good basketball team. The Bulldogs have three standout players in Stanley Valentine, Cody McClain and Camillo. They also have depth and just enough size. They shoot it well and make their free throws. They can handle the ball and get after an opponent defensively.And if things get a little squirrelly, Camillo is the traffic-calming device.A pair of wins this week would wrap up the Watauga Valley Conference title, and then the ‘Dogs can start thinking about what it will take to repeat their regular season success in the tournaments.———It’s time for the water sport to make a center-stage splash with the Region 1 swimming and diving championships scheduled for this weekend.Action will take place at the Kingsport Aquatic Center, with everything scheduled for Saturday. Swimming preliminaries will begin at 9:45 a.m. while the diving will start in the early afternoon.Swimmers and divers, headed by Science Hill’s always strong contingent, are trying to earn their spots in the state swimming meet. That event is scheduled for Feb. 14-15 in Nashville.Science Hill coach Chris Coraggio said his boys squad should be slightly stronger than his girls squad, a reverse from previous seasons.———Follow Douglas Fritz on Twitter @FritzBlitzzz.———The Region 1-AAA dual wrestling tournament is set for today at Jefferson County in Dandridge.Science Hill will take on Morristown East while Dobyns-Bennett battles Jefferson County with both matches scheduled for 6:30 p.m.Winners of those matches will compete at approximately 8 o’clock for the region title, and both qualify for the state tournament — which is scheduled for Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Franklin.Science Hill once again enters with a strong squad capable of reaching the state. The Hilltoppers knocked off Dobyns-Bennett last week to secure the top spot from District 1. Science Hill won that match, 40-27.———Certainly Science Hill’s basketball team is down, but the Hilltoppers aren’t out.A 15-point loss to Tennessee High followed by a 25-point defeat against Dobyns-Bennett last week combined to make the biggest margin of back-to-back setbacks in at least a decade and maybe much longer than that.Scoring was a big issue as the Hilltoppers’ two-game total of 86 points was probably a low mark since at least the mid-1980s.Also, Science Hill has lost back-to-back games three times this season. It would take quite a bit of digging into history to find that on the Hilltoppers’ resume.The reason these things stand out is because of the incredible tradition of Science Hill basketball. When a program doesn’t even lose six games in an entire season all that often, multiple back-to-back losses is going to stand out.It’s also unusual because Science Hill’s well-earned pride doesn’t allow the Hilltoppers to take losing very well, and the next opponent better watch out. However, this time the next opponents were Oak Ridge, Coral Gables, Fla., and Dobyns-Bennett. They are pretty stout opponents — especially with the Indians regaining the services of standout wing Ty’leke Love.There is a silver lining. The Hilltoppers are 16-8 overall and still tied for first place in the Big Seven Conference. The goal of winning the league is still firmly in the hands of the Hilltoppers, even though they have two tests remaining (at Daniel Boone today and at David Crockett next week).After a victory over Elizabethton earlier this month, Hilltoppers’ head coach Ken Cutlip said this year’s Science Hill team has no choice but to play at maximum effort in order to get wins. At this point in the season, finding the max is critical.———Boys basketball games of the week: (Today) Science Hill at Daniel Boone, David Crockett at Tennessee High, Sullivan East at Elizabethton, University High at Cloudland, (Thursday) Johnson County at Elizabethton, (Friday) Dobyns-Bennett at David Crockett, Unicoi County at Sullivan East, Hampton at University High.Somehow the Trailblazers have found a way to still be in the hunt for one of the top spots in the Big Seven Conference, but must beat the first-place Hilltoppers to keep such thoughts active. ...It’s arguably the biggest week of the conference season for the Pioneers. They actually have a chance to move into second place and set up a title-game showdown next week against Science Hill. ...Elizabethton must hold serve in a pair of home games to keep its Three Rivers Conference title hopes alive. Both games are challenging as the Cyclones lost to East earlier this season, and the Longhorns are a feisty bunch. …University High will get a chance to prove it belongs in the upper half of the Watauga Valley Conference.———Boys player of the week — Patrick Good of David Crockett.Filling up the basket, the Pioneers’ standout sophomore led Crockett to a pair of league victories.On Tuesday, Good fired in 30 points to pace his team to a 73-64 victory over Daniel Boone. He came back on Friday with 29 points in a 75-63 decision against Sullivan Central.———Boys pick of the week — Science Hill 63, Daniel Boone 55.The Hilltoppers should be able to find their scoring rhythm, and get back on the winning track.Picks record: 3-2.———How will Hampton handle the pressure of its first-ever trip to the No. 1 spot in the Prep Top 10?Unicoi County didn’t fare so well when it climbed to No. 1 earlier this season. The Blue Devils defeated Sullivan East, but then lost two of their next three games — including a 69-58 decision against Hampton and a 22-point whipping by Elizabethton.Hampton has played well enough to earn its chance to be top dog.Team W-L Prv1. Hampton 18-2 22. Unicoi County 19-4 33. Tennessee High 15-5 44. Science Hill 16-8 15. David Crockett 16-8 56. Dobyns-Bennett 10-8 67. Elizabethton 15-6 88. Sullivan South 10-9 79. Daniel Boone 13-10 910. Johnson County 9-8 10———This Week in Prep History: January 19, 2001.Will Little got the first start of his varsity career and totaled a career-high 27 points. He was 9 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point land as Science Hill defeated Sullivan Central 88-73.Teammate Nick Bradley racked up an impressive line with 17 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds and four steals.———Girls basketball games of the week: (Today) Science Hill at Daniel Boone, Volunteer at Dobyns-Bennett, Sullivan East at Elizabethton, (Friday) Sullivan South at Happy Valley, Unicoi County at Sullivan East, North Greene at South Greene; (Monday) Cloudland at South Greene.Despite losing point guard Brandy Watkins for several games with an injury, the Lady Patriots are one of only three area teams with a 20-win season already in the bag. Tonight’s game against the Lady Cyclones is their final chance for a shot at the league title. …The Watauga Valley Conference picture will be a lot clearer after South Greene’s big games.———Girls player of the week — Savannah Felgemacher of Volunteer.With just about as many letters in her name as the points she usually scores, the post player had a big week for the Lady Falcons.The 6-2 junior led Volunteer to wins over University High, Sullivan Central and Daniel Boone. Felgemacher had 16 in a 54-23 decision against UH on Monday before totaling 31 points and 14 rebounds in a 68-50 win over Central on Tuesday.On Friday, Felgemacher added 24 points and 20 rebounds in a 71-36 thumping of Daniel Boone.Along the way, she passed the 1,000-point mark for her career.———Girls pick of the week — Science Hill 56, Daniel Boone 40.The Lady Trailblazers are coming off a blowout loss, but shouldn’t have trouble getting tuned back in for this giant of an opponent. However, nobody has come up with an answer for Science Hill’s big three.Picks record: 5-0.———There was a major shakeup in this week’s girls rankings. Volunteer gets the biggest jump, up four spots to No. 6.Team W-L Prv1. Science Hill 23-0 12. Elizabethton 16-3 23. Cloudland 19-3 34. Sullivan East 20-5 55. South Greene 17-6 66. Volunteer 20-5 107. Daniel Boone 15-8 48. North Greene 14-9 99. Dobyns-Bennett 13-7 nr10. Hampton 13-9 8

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