The Sam Houston High School boys’ varsity basketball team begins defense of its Region III-6A title with a full lineup card.

That wasn’t the case in the regular season finale when the Tigers needed a victory to win the District 18-6A title outright. Missing were all-state point guard Kendric Davis and 6-foot-7 post Jacob Wiley.

No stars, no sweat. Henry Hampton shifted over from his normal shooting guard position and handled the point admirably.

Hampton scored a game-high 24 points as Sam Houston (also known as Math, Science and Technology High School) secured the district’s top seed with a 74-34 win over Chavez.

“Henry’s a kid who brings a lot of toughness to the table for us,” said Tigers’ head coach Ralph Barreras. “He plays hard on the defensive end and does a good job of spotting up and knocking down his shots.

“Tonight he did a good job of leading us. With Kendric out he had to handle the ball a lot and he did a great job with that,” Barreras said. “I thought the rest of our kids competed well and I’m proud of them.”

Both Davis and Wiley will return for the playoffs, enabling Hampton to assume his regular duties.

“I bring intensity and leadership on the defensive end,” said Hampton, a junior who came off the bench last season when the Tigers advanced to the Class 6A state tournament semifinals. “I can shoot the ball as well.

“Playing the point guard was really no big deal,” Hampton said. “I just had to step up. We just have to go out and play every night. Basically, I look at every game as a playoff game. Just playing is a blessing.”

Sam Houston will open the playoffs with Cy-Fair.

Barreras said Region III-6A is wide open with a lot of parody in the greater Houston area.

“There are a lot teams that could walk away with the title,” Barreras said. “I don’t think there’s a real dominant team out there. You’ve got [Fort Bend] Bush, Pearland Dawson and Cy-Falls to mention a few. It’s just about the team that gets hot and plays the best now.”

Barreras admitted that playing in rugged District 18-6A has prepared the Tigers for the playoff run. Bellaire, Lamar and Westside earned the district’s remaining three postseason berths.

“It’s the No. 2 ranked 6A district in the state by MaxPreps,” Barreras said. “Every time you step on the court in this district you’re going to get a good game. Hopefully it’s toughened us up and made us better.

“But the people that we’ll be playing against are also very good,” Barreras said. “We’ll be going up against a team from the Cy-Fair ISD. There are a lot of good basketball teams in Houston.”

                  About Henry Hampton

                        Birth date – Sept. 12, 1999

                        Birth sign – Virgo

                        Favorite subject – History

                        Favorite hobbies – Playing other sports (football, baseball, track & field)

                        Favorite athlete – Jabrill Peppers (University of Michigan)

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