GATE CITY — “We did some good things defensively in the second and fourth quarters.”
Gate City basketball coach Kelly Houseright’s assessment of the Lady Blue Devils’ game with Hampton on Saturday could not have been more understated.
Gate City (12-1) held the Lady Bulldogs (13-7) scoreless in both the second and fourth quarters and came away with a 38-27 victory.
In their past five games, the Lady Blue Devils have beaten Sullivan East, Sullivan South, Union, Wise Central and now Hampton.
The win over the Lady Bulldogs was all the more impressive considering the physically and emotionally draining victory over Central on Friday.
“I was worried we might come out flat,” Houseright said. “When we got down early I knew the girls would respond. I knew we were better than that.”
Hampton hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter and led 13-6 with 32 seconds to go in the period. Gate City responded with a stunning 18-0 run over the next 9½ minutes and led 24-13 with 6:53 left in the third quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs had one last run in them, outscoring the Lady Blue Devils 14-6 to move within 30-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
But Gate City’s suffocating defense held Hampton scoreless over the final eight minutes of the game and the Lady Blue Devils sealed another victory.
“They are all over you on defense,” said Lady Bulldogs coach Bud Hazelwood. “Our starting point guard was out with a thumb injury but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Gate City is a good team.”
The Lady Blue Devils outrebounded Hampton 39-12, including 19 offensive boards.
“Our rebounding has been a big factor in these last five wins,” Houseright noted. “The way we’ve played this past week says a lot about our team. They knew it would be a tough stretch and they worked hard for the wins.”
Gate City defensive specialist Hannah Kilgore agreed.
“We’ve come together as a team and realized that everyone has to contribute,” Kilgore said.
Jordan Gose, who had 10 points for the Lady Blue Devils, added some perspective.
“We’ve learned that you have to put each game behind you and focus on the next one up,” Gose said. “Tonight we communicated better on defense, that was the key.”
Kaely Gose led Gate City with 11 points.