ELIZABETHTON — Hampton isn't one-dimensional, and the Bulldogs unleashed a beast of an attack on Elizabethton.
The 'Dogs blew out to a 22-point third-quarter lead, and eventually settled for a 71-57 victory over the Cyclones on Tuesday night at Treadway Gymnasium.
It was the second win this season for the 'Dogs (7-2) over the Cyclones (6-3). The first one was by two points, but this one was a no-doubter.
“We had good chemistry tonight,” said Hampton head coach Ned Smith. “It was probably the best chemistry we've had.”
In the girls' game, sophomore Kayla Marosites broke loose for 33 points and the Lady Cyclones ran away in the second half for a 64-41 victory.
Elizabethton's boys hung around, but trailed by 10 points at the break. A five-minute nightmare later, they were staring at a 46-24 deficit.
“In the third quarter we started doing some things we hadn't been doing too good,” said Hampton post Stanley Valentine. “We made adjustments that led to that run.”
Smith said his team simply stayed the course.
“We had a good game plan, and the kids stuck with it,” he said. “We made big shots, and kept their big kids off the glass.”
Valentine was a problem all night for the Cyclones, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds. When he wasn't torturing the Cyclones, Cody McClain was. McClain finished with 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
It was a much better postgame feeling for McClain on this visit to Treadway Gym, where he missed a potential game-winning layup just before the buzzer last season.
“I've been reminded of that a couple thousand times,” said McClain, now flashing a smile of an overcomer. “It was a good time to get a good team win.”
And that's what this one was. Cheyenne Camillo totaled 13 points while Coby Jones added nine points and five assists.
“We just played real good defense, and shot the ball well,” said McClain. “We just need to stay in the gym and practice hard. The sky's the limit.”
Elizabethton got a nice effort from Zeke Clark. He led all scorers with 23 points, including nine in a stretch of 1:49 to help the Cyclones cut the 22-point deficit to 48-33 late in the third quarter.
Tyler Nichols added 10 points while Deron Wells totaled eight for the Cyclones.
Elizabethton (girls) 64
It was an explosive performance for Marosites, but it was also very smooth.
She made 11 of 17 shots from the field, including 3 of 7 from trey country, and also made all eight of her free throw attempts.
“My coaches have been telling me to go out and play my game and relax and have fun, and that's what I did,” said Marosites. “I couldn't have done it without my teammates: hustle, good passes, and good possessions.”
Lady Cyclones head coach Len Dugger said it was a quiet 30-plus game.
“Normally when Kayla is scoring a lot of points, you think about her bombing in threes,” said Dugger, whose team improved to 8-1. “But she took it to the basket on several occasions for some buckets, and she drew some fouls and made her free throws.”
Hampton was knocking at the door in the first half despite playing its first game without Paige Montgomery, a senior post who suffered a knee injury and is likely out for the season.
“Hampton played extremely hard,” said Dugger. “They were motivated by their senior.”
It was 29-26 at the break, but the Lady Cyclones opened the second half with a 19-3 run to put the game away.
“It was definitely defense,” said Marosites of the run. “And the press is one of our strengths.”
Kelci Marosites also had a nice game for Elizabethton. She finished with eight points and six assists. Kayla contributed four steals while Sarah Robinson had nine rebounds and Sarah Bradley chipped in with eight points.
Hampton (5-3) was led by Kim Swearingen, who had 10 points.