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Hampton holds off gutsy Johnson County

JC’s Ethan Bower passes out of trouble as three Bulldog defenders converge on him during the Longhorns 57 -53 loss to Hampton. Bower came off the bench to score six points and dish out five assists. Photos by Joey Icenhour

Johnson County 53, Hampton 57

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

HAMPTON – In a contest that at times resembled more of a football contest than basketball, the Hampton Bulldogs managed to battle off a fierce comeback effort from Johnson County to take a 57-53 non-conference clash at VanHuss-White Gym.It was the first time that the Horns had been in the gym after shutting basketball down for 14 days. Head coach Austin Atwood was pleased with their effort under the circumstances.

“We’ve got to rebound a little better than we did, plus we missed a few bunnies that hurt,” said Atwood. “We have to make more free throws, but I am super proud of the way our guys came out and competed. We had a chance to win down the stretch, and I was just hoping we could make it a game after not getting to practice any at all.”

Johnson County stood toe to toe with the talented Bulldogs. They dove on the floor after loose balls and collected a lot of floor burns. Nine charges were called on the Longhorns in the game, and several occurred when the shooter was in the air with no place to come down after the defender ran up under them. The Longhorns led 15-11 after one-quarter of play after Parker Henry sank a three-pointer late in the frame. Johnson County got a half dozen points from sophomore Zack Parsons in the opening quarter that allowed them to stay close.

JCs Clayton Cross elevates over a Hampton defender in the Longhorns 57 – 53 loss to the Bulldogs.

Hampton held a sizeable second-quarter lead, but the Horns fought back to tie the game at 27-27 with 1:31 remaining before halftime, and it stood that way at intermission.  Preston Greer tossed in eight points to help pull the ‘Horns even with the ‘Dogs. Conor Burleson scored four points for Hampton, with Dalton Holtsclaw and Garrett Vines rattled the rim for a trey each to highlight the quarter for Hampton. Hampton quickly stole the momentum in the third quarter. They appeared to get every loose ball as the Horns seemed to be a bit sluggish due to lack of gym time. 

The Dogs outscored Johnson County 18-11 in the frame and led 45-38 heading into the final quarter. The Horns had trouble stopping Morgan Lyons in the fourth quarter as he was a man among boys attacking the rim. He finished with 10 points in the quarter and was 4-of-4 from the charity line. His play allowed Connor Jones to get untracked, providing four points and three assists in the quarter.

Johnson County got eight of their 11 points from Jackson Earnhardt in the quarter before he fouled late on, you guessed it, a charging call. Hampton led the entire second half. Lyons led the ‘Dogs with 14 points while Jones finished with eight. Burleson and Vines collected seven points each for Hampton. McCoury and Holtsclaw ended their night with five points apiece.

Henry (3), Nate Wilson (2), Michael Harrison (4), and Logan Whitehead (2) closed out the Bulldog scoring. Earnhardt led the ‘Horns with 15 points in the contest, with Parsons totaling 13 points. Ethan Bower came off the bench to score six points and dish out five assists.