Don't say this too loudly around Woodside coach Mike Tallon, but the Peninsula District girls' basketball race is over.
Going against the second-place team on the road Tuesday night, the Wolverines rolled to a 68-25 win over Hampton that gave them a three-game lead in the standings. And given that Woodside (14-1, 12-0 PD) hasn't had a victory margin closer than 26 points, well, do the math.
With six games remaining in the regular season, it's over. Even if Tallon doesn't want to go there. "This gives us some breathing room," was as close as he'd go.
Senior Alecia Bell, who finished with 16 points, is taking the business-as-usual approach.
"Although we are ahead three games, we don't want to look at it as over," she said. "We still have Kecoughtan left, and the first time we saw them, we had a hard first half. And we have Bethel. We look at all teams the same and play our games."
How one-sided was it Tuesday night? In the first quarter, Hampton (10-6, 9-3) went 0-for-7 from the field and turned the ball over nine times. Woodside led 20-3.
The Crabbers' first field goal didn't come until 6:08 remained in the second quarter. It was 44-8 at halftime, at which point Hampton was 2-of-20 from the field with 15 turnovers.
The Crabbers had no answer for Woodside's 2-3 zone. And they couldn't stop Woodside's Big Three.
Everyone knows about Bell and Adrienne Motley, who finished a shade under her season average with 27 points. Aianna Kelly goes under the radar, but she finished with 15 points, nine of which came in the first quarter as Woodside took control. She also had eight rebounds.
"She's good at finding the ball," Tallon said. "She's very underrated."
Woodside also had a 10-rebound night from Kemonei Earp.
WOODSIDE 68, HAMPTON 25
WOODSIDE (14-1, 12-0): Alec. Bell 16, Alex. Bell 4, Washington 2, Kelly 15, Motley 27, K. Williams 2, Valez 2. Totals: 25 18-20 68.
HAMPTON (10-6, 9-3): Bell 4, Moore 2, Pearson 7, Brown 6, Sayle 6. Totals: 8 9-15 25.
Hampton boys 47, Woodside 45
After a blistering first half, Anthony Barber had trouble finding the basket in the second. But with the game on the line, he was his usual clutch self.
Barber made two free throws with 4.3 seconds left and then stole the inbounds pass to seal the Crabbers' fourth consecutive district win. Hampton (13-3, 10-2) remains tied with Kecoughtan for first place in the standings.
The Wolverines (9-7, 7-5) trailed 37-21 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter but stormed back. Shaqueel Tabb's layup with 18 seconds left tied the game at 45. Then, to the surprise of no one, the Crabbers went to their leader.
Barber, who scored 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the first half, missed a 15-footer but drew a foul from Neco Allen. Barber made both shots and then intercepted the inbounds pass in the corner.
"When I made the two free throws, I saw his eyes going (there)," Barber said of the inbounds man. "I just turned around quick and grabbed the ball."
Equally big down the stretch was Cameron Perry, who scored all four of his points in the final 1:55. The first, a pull-up jumper from 16 feet, came after Woodside had taken its first lead. The second, a tip-in with 44 seconds left, gave the Crabbers a 45-43 lead.
"He's real athletic," assistant coach Eric Brown said. "And the biggest thing he has is his heart."
WOODSIDE (9-7, 7-5): Davis 4, Allen 7, Hunter 14, Lyons 13, Tabb 7. Totals: 15 13-18 45.
HAMPTON (13-3, 10-2): Baker 5, Moore 3, Barber 27, Joyner 6, C. Perry 4, T. Perry 2. Totals: 17 8-14 47.
3-point goals: Woodside 2 (Allen Hunter), Hampton 5 (Barber 3, Joyner 2).