Hampton moves practice to gain edge at State - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Hampton moves practice to gain edge at State

BRISTOL, TN - The final week of the high school basketball season is here, and two Tennessee boys teams are hoping to bring back a gold ball like the one the Elizabethton girls brought home this past weekend.

One of those is the Hampton Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs fought their way to state from the confines of their own cozy and loud gym. Playing this week at Middle Tennessee State will feel like a cavern in comparison, so Coach Ned Smith had an idea. Move pre-state practice to Viking Hall and get some looks in a bigger arena.

"It's a lot bigger gym than what we're used to playing in, and it makes a big difference," Smith said. "I think this will give us some confidence going in in shooting and get us ready to play down there on the big floor."

The players feel the biggest difference will be sight lines while shooting.

"Maybe shooting it might hurt us a little maybe because of the clearance behind the backboards," said senior Tristan Robinson. "That's why we've come here to practice and shoot a little and get used to that, but that might be the only thing."

Fellow senior Cody McClain added, "I think it really helps, you know, with the background, the drop. There's no backdrop down there at state like there is at our school. It's a big help."

Regardless of arena size, the Bulldogs are good enough to bring home their first title since 1960, and they'll have the chance starting Thursday at 11:00 AM.
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