Sometimes the shots just dont fall, and its about as simple as that.
With Hampshire leading Sycamore 34-26 in the championship game of the Class 3A Burlington Central boys basketball regional Friday night, somebody abruptly put a lid on the basket at which Hampshire was shooting.
The Spartans reeled off 15 straight points as the Whip-Purs missed 7 consecutive shots. From that point early in the third quarter, Hampshire scored just 10 more points the rest of the game as Sycamore held on for a 51-44 win.
We couldnt hit any shots, was how Hampshire coach Bob Barnett succinctly put it. We got up to an 8-point lead and we end the game with (44). So we went on a long drought there. It wasnt that we didnt have looks. We had looks they just didnt fall.
Tyler Crater did everything he could do extend Hampshires season, scoring 23 points. Shane Hernandez had 8 rebounds with 5 blocks and 3 assists. Brendan Waterworth added 10 points for the top-seeded Whips, who finished the season 23-6 but failed to win their first regional title since 2005.
Devin Mottee was a thorn in Hampshires side all night, leading Sycamore with 20 points. Scott Nelson added 14 points and 7 rebounds.
The teams traded runs in the first half. Michael Dumoulin scored 5 straight points in the middle of a 9-0 run that gave Hampshire a 26-21 lead. After Sycamore tied it up, Waterworth scored just before halftime to give the Whips a 28-26 lead at the break.
Things looked good for the Whips when Crater and Waterworth nailed 3s on their first two second-half possessions, but then the shots stopped falling.
Sycamore immediately took advantage, as Mottee scored inside, Kyle Buzzard drained a 3-pointer for his only points of the night, Nelson scored off Mottees assist, and Ben Niemann made 2 free throws to put the second-seeded Spartans ahead for good.
They took a lot of things away from us that we like to do, said Crater. They played good defense.
The Whip-Purs shot 47 percent in the first half, but just 24 percent after the break.
Hampshire had a chance to get back in the game late. Down by 5, Crater missed an open 3-pointer. Sycamore corralled the rebound and Mottee made 2 free throws at the other end. Instead of a 2-point game, the Spartans led by 7.
That was the story of the second half, said Barnett.