SUNRISE SUMMIT — The New Year brought new hopes of success for the Hampshire boys basketball team as they brought a 4-game home winning streak into 2020, but Jefferson ruined the festivities as they knocked off the Trojans 71-64 on Friday night.
Things looked good for the guys in white as they jumped out to a 9-0 lead early in the 1st quarter.
“We started out using the press and we got a couple of quick baskets, but we backed out of the press to save legs which allowed them to get back in the game,” Coach Danny Alkire mentioned after the contest.
Trailing 9-0, with momentum clearly favoring the Trojans, Jefferson called a timeout and adjusted their defensive strategy to a full court press and the floor tilted in favor of the kids dressed in maroon.
By the end of the 1st quarter the Cougars led 19-16. Both teams notched 21 points in the 2nd quarter which gave Jefferson a lead at the half 40-37. Jefferson outscored Hampshire in the 3rd quarter 15-10 to take a 55-47 lead to the final period of play. Although the Trojans outscored Jefferson 17-16 in the final stanza, it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
Jefferson’s full court press caused nightmares for Hampshire offensively as the Trojans struggled to even get the ball past half court.
“I don’t think we ran 1 offensive set play all game, because we simply weren’t able to get in the front court. If we did get in the front court, their pressure had us spooked and we couldn’t set up our half court offense either,” Coach Alkire explained.
The biggest teaching point Coach Alkire took away from the game was his teams’ mental attitude heading forward.
“I just want our kids to stay positive,” said Alkire.
“Yes it looked ugly and we lost, but that's a good Jefferson team. I’m proud of the way our guys fought as they were able to hang in there and give us a chance.”
Statistically for Hampshire, Trevor Sardo had the hot hand shooting the round ball scoring 20 points including four 3-pointers.
Drew Keckley finished with 5 field goals for a total of 16 points.
The big man down low doing dirty work was Matt Kerns who had a solid day around the rim tossing in 11 points off of 5 field goals.
“Matt is always in the right place defensively, and he is starting to find the rebounds and finish strong near the basket offensively,” said Alkire.
Also scoring for Hampshire was Caleb Cannon with 8 points, Christian Hicks with 5 points, Austin Ramsay had 3 points, and Carter Smith chipped in a free throw.
Jaiden Wilkie was the top scorer for Jefferson dropping in 21 points. Cam Johnson scored 15 points while Daion Taylor and Ahmad Ledesne both finished with 11.
With the loss Hampshire drops to 4-2 on the season.
On Thursday night the Trojans pack their bags for a short jaunt to Mineral County to play against the Golden Tornado of Keyser. Last year the two teams split the season series.
In order for Hampshire to pull out the victory in tornado alley, they will need to be physical near the basket and limit their turnovers. Tipoff on Thursday night is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. o