By Kenneth Schott
HAMPSHIRE— Defense was the key for Hampshire in Tuesday’s District 10-A season opener.
The Lady Hawks forced 12 first-quarter turnovers to take an early lead against visiting Culleoka, then traded baskets with Culleoka the rest of the game for a 52-42 win.
Hampshire overwhelmed Culleoka with its full-court pressure defense in the first quarter.
“We can’t beat anybody if we turn it over that much,” said Culleoka coach Derrick Adkinson. “We missed not having some of our games that got canceled. We were too soft early in the game. (In the second half) we were more aggressive and we took it to the basket.”
Hampshire built a double-digit (20-8) lead early in the second quarter. The Lady Hawks outscored the Lady Warriors 10-4 to end the first half with a 30-12 cushion.
“I thought that was one of our best defensive efforts,” said Hampshire coach Ronnie Brewer. “The press really turned the game in our favor early.”
Whatever problems the Lady Warriors had in the first half with turnovers were eliminated in the second half, when Culleoka started getting good looks at the basket and converted some of them.
A 5-0 run to start the second half got the gap down to 13. It stayed at 13 for most of the rest of the game as the teams exchanged baskets the rest of the way.
After starting out 3-of-10 from the free throw line, Hampshire converted 9-of-13 in the fourth quarter to maintain its double-digit lead. Kayla Stephens led the Lady Hawks from the line, converting six of eight. She had 13 to lead Hampshire.
“It wasn’t very pretty (to start out 3-of-10),” said Brewer. “We made free throws the last couple of minutes when we had to.”
Culleoka’s Tyler Reischman led all scorers with 20, scoring 15 in the second half.
Warriors win battle of boards: Hampshire hung tough for one quarter, then Culleoka’s rebounding advantage became too much for the hosts.
The visiting Warriors defeated the Hawks 63-28 to start district play.
The teams exchanged baskets through the first quarter, with Culleoka scoring the period’s final eight points for a 15-9 lead.
Then the Warriors started dominating in the paint and in rebounds. Culleoka missed shots resulted in rebounds and second and third opportunities. Hampshire missed shots went into the black hole of Culleoka rebounders so the Hawks were one-and-done on a lot of their possessions.
With this factor, the Warriors extended their lead to 24 in the second quarter, 32-18, then up to 34 in the third quarter, 54-20, when the Hawks only managed two points in the third period.
Culleoka’s Tavon Bagsby finished with a game-high 15 points, while Errette Delk and Cameryn Bass each scored seven to lead Hampshire.
Hampshire girls 52, Culleoka 42
C 8 4 13 17 — 42
H 15 15 10 12 — 52
Culleoka (42) — Tyler Reischman 20, Breanna Dickson 9, Madison Ingram 5, Alex Skinner 4, Maci McKennon 4
Hampshire (52) — Kayla Stephens 13, Kadence Stoner 10, Karlee Rowland 9, Ansley Stoner 7, Madison Cagle 6, Kortney Rowland 5, Hailey Potts 2
3-pointers — Culleoka 2 (Reischman, Ingram), Hampshire 3 (Rowland, Cagle 2)
Culleoka boys 63, Hampshire 28
C 15 17 22 9 — 63
H 9 9 2 8 — 28
Culleoka (63) — Tavon Bagsby 15, Landon Andrews 10, Cooper Parks 10, Erik Mick 7, Hunter Harris 5, Chris Hutcherson 5, Elijah Hargrove 5, Colby Mitchell 3, Ranger Graham 2, Blake Delk 1
Hampshire (28) — Errette Delk 5, Cameryn Bass 7, Ethan Bowden 7, Tucker Ford 4, Peyton Morton 2, Dierks Brown 2, Jed Page 1
3-pointers — Culleoka 3 (Bagsby, Andrews, Mick), Hampshire 2 (Delk, Bowden)