Jones’ bucket with four seconds remaining in overtime enabled the first-place Bulldogs to survive Watauga Valley Conference foe Sullivan North 53-51 on Tuesday night.
It seemed as if the Golden Raiders’ momentum might carry them to victory, but Hampton came through at the end.
“We got the ball in the end and hit the bucket,” Hampton head coach Ned Smith said. “We made some big plays down the stretch of this game that gave us that opportunity. I’m proud of my guys for not backing down.”
Sullivan North (14-10, 3-4), which found itself trailing Hampton (17-8, 6-1) by 14 points in the early going, slowly erased any kind of deficit to steal the lead in the fourth quarter.
Hampton, however, lingered closely and made the right plays to force overtime.
As Sullivan North appeared to have the game under control with a 3-point lead in the final 90 seconds, the Bulldogs did not fold. They were patient and Jones waited until taking care of business.
“Sullivan North has great athletes,” Smith said. “You felt them grabbing the momentum through the game and they made a good comeback. That’s what good athletes can do. They can make some big plays. Anytime you can steal a big win, it goes a long way.”
Morgan Lions tallied a team-high 14 points for Hampton while teammate Caleb Oaks scored 10. Jones added nine.
Sullivan North’s Trey Williams notched a game-high 18 points while C.J. Mardis followed with 10 points.
Hampton was the first to slip away, going on a 12-0 run that included three 3-pointers. The Raiders found themselves in trouble, trailing 20-6 heading into the second quarter.
A 14-point lead after one shrunk to an 11-point lead after Sullivan North’s small boost of momentum in the second. Still, Hampton was up 28-17 at the half.
Sullivan North finally put itself within single digits in the third quarter thanks to a six-point push by Mardis. The Raiders also managed a 13-2 run to close the third quarter, pulling them within a point (36-35).
Hampton lost the lead to begin the final eight minutes as Sullivan North grabbed a 37-36 edge — and the Raiders maintained their momentum to build a 42-37 lead.
Fortunately for Hampton, it knotted the scored at 42 apiece with a 5-0 spurt and its defense holding Sullivan North scoreless in the final three minutes.
Sullivan North and Hampton battled to get an edge in overtime, when Sullivan North separated itself 49-46 after a Williams bucket.
Hampton notched it up once more at 51 apiece, but this time did not need an extra four minutes as Jones’ shot fell through.
Hampton 58, Sullivan North 38
Very little depth can hurt a team, and the Sullivan North Lady Raiders ran into that problem on Tuesday.
The Lady Raiders had a total of just five girls to play in its game versus Hampton. The fatigued showed on the Lady Raiders, while Hampton had 10 players enter the scoring column in a 58-38 win.
Hampton (6-18, 3-4) earned a much-needed win at Sullivan North (6-14, 1-6) after dropping six straight games.
“We needed a good win and we got one here tonight,” Hampton head coach Bud Hazlewood said. “I think we wore them out with our depth. They did have the chemistry advantage on us by playing just those five girls, but we eventually wore them out by playing so many girls.”
The Lady Bulldogs broke out of their losing streak behind Hazen Brumitt’s team-high 17 points. Nicole Guy tallied eight points and Sara Orr added six points for Hampton.
Sullivan North put only three girls in its scoring column with Kierra Kotee leading the way with a game-high 22 points.
Hampton created a 10-0 advantage — Brumitt accounted for seven straight points — to open the first quarter.
The Lady Raiders briefly stopped the Lady Bulldogs’ charge with a 7-2 run. Hampton was on top 15-7 after the opening quarter.
“Brumitt played well tonight,” Hazlewood said. “She needed this game. She was in a bit of a slump. It was huge for us to have her help and start the game that way.”
Hampton gradually built 20-7 lead at the beginning of the second.
A 10-3 run by the Lady Raiders broke out to close the first half, which deleted a double-digit deficit.
Hampton led 30-21 at the half.
Sullivan North struggled to start the second half as Hampton took advantage to build a 41-22 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs were close but could not reach a 20-point lead. Kotee knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to close the gap to 13 points.
After entering the final quarter of basketball with a 43-28 lead, Hampton grabbed a 20-point advantage after back-to-back shots were hit from the perimeter.
Once Sullivan North trailed by 20 in the fourth, it could never cut the deficit enough to give the Lady Bulldogs a scare.