ROAN MOUNTAIN — When Hampton gets on a roll, it is flat-out relentless.
In a span of 9:54, the Bulldogs outscored Cloudland by 34 points and turned a tight rivalry game into an absolute blowout. Led by eight 3-pointers from Cheyenne Camillo, Hampton won 84-45 Friday night at Sonny Smith Gymnasium.
Ranked No. 4 in the state in Class A, the Bulldogs looked the part while improving to 5-0 in the Watauga Valley Conference and 18-2 overall.
Cloudland led 17-11 early in the second quarter. The home fans in the packed gym were behind the Highlanders, and it looked like things were settling in for a four-quarter fight.
But then Camillo dialed up a three-spot — a sign of things to come — and the Bulldogs were off the races. They closed the half with a 20-3 run.
Then Hampton started the second half with a 17-0 burst. The 37-3 blitz left Cloudland reeling, and the teams simply had to play things out to the finish.
“We had a good run,” said Hampton head coach Ned Smith. “The kids played hard on defense, and got the offense going. And we stepped up and made some big shots.”
Camillo hit five from behind the arc during the big run, and Stanley Valentine added nine points in the stretch.
It was hard to determine who was more effective for the game: point guard Cody McClain or Camillo, the wing sharpshooter. One thing was certain: The combination was a Cloudland killer.
McClain didn't score a single point, but finished with 11 assists, six rebounds and five steals. Camillo cashed McClain's checks to the tune of 24 points.
“I will think about it,” said Camillo when asked if he owed McClain a dinner for all those dishes. “He knows where everybody is. He's a great point guard, and he doesn't care who scores.”
Said McClain, “It's hard for a point guard to score against a 1-3-1. Cheyenne was filling it up. We've got weapons everywhere.”
Indeed. Another weapon was Valentine, who worked his way to 19 points, seven rebounds and five steals.
It was easy at game's end for Smith to pass the praise around the team.
“Cody did a great job sharing the ball,” said Smith. “Cheyenne had his feet set and ready to shoot. And Stanley played smart. He was patient on offense.”
Hampton, which scored 53 points in the second half, led 58-32 at the end of three periods.
Cloudland, which fell to 2-3 in the league and 7-13 overall, got 13 points from Colby Birchfield and 11 from Zac Benfield.