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Sports Article
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Hampton Happy to be Back on the Court for Perkiomen Despite Consecutive Losses
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

Perkiomen senior Ja'ren Hampton heads for the hoop in Tuesday's game against Friends Central School. Hampton scored 12 points and had 12 rebounds.

        Ja'ren Hampton anticipated his senior basketball season like a caged tiger.

        "I couldn't wait for it to get going," said Hampton, who missed most of last season with a broken arm. "I've played ball my entire life. I couldn't stand not being active. It's all I know."

        In two games this season, the 6-foot-6 post player has averaged 10 points and provided an inside presence for Perkiomen School.

        "It's great to have him back," Panthers head coach Mark Longstreth said. "I'm very happy he's back on the floor."

        In a 61-46 non-league loss to Friends Central School on Tuesday, Hampton finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

        Martynas Simanavicius scored a team-high 16 points for the Panthers, who opened their season with consecutive losses.

        Miles Longstreth delivered 12 points for Perkiomen School, which took an early 7-5 lead and trailed 31-30 at halftime.

        De'Andre Hunter and Anton Walker each scored a team-high 21 points for the Phoenix (2-2), who mounted a 21-8 run in the second half to extend a 39-36 third quarter lead.

        Hunter, who has reportedly committed to play college basketball at the University of Virginia, delivered seven points during the decisive flurry.

        "We did not come out with the same intensity after halftime that we showed earlier in the game," Hampton said. "That's what sports are all about. You can't afford to take any plays off."

        A native of Trenton, NJ, Hampton missed nearly all of his junior season after suffering a broken arm during the football season. He returned for the Panthers' season-ending loss in the Tri-County Independent School League playoffs. He scored 10 points off the bench in a 59-56 overtime semifinal round loss to Collegium Charter School.

        Hampton quickly worked through concerns about reinjuring his right forearm, which is held together with a steel plate and screws, during the football season.

        "I let the injury be my motivation," Hampton said.

        On the basketball floor, he said he's still feeling out his teammates tendencies while they learn where he likes to receive the ball on the offense.

        "I have to credit my teammates for any individual success," Hampton said.

        According to Longstreth, the Panthers are looking to develop their continuity. Aside from Simanavicius, a senior who led the team in scoring last season, they have several players in expanded roles.

        Three of those key players include junior guards Josh Cruz and Miles Longstreth along with their classmate Aidan O'Brien, a forward.

        On Dec. 3, Perkiomen School opened its season with a 75-45 home loss to Academy of the New Church.

        Justin Anderson scored a game-high 27 points for the Lions, who scored 32 points in the third quarter to extend a one-point halftime lead. Matt Cotton added 17 points.

        Miles Longstreth finished with a team-high 12 points for the Panthers, who trailed 27-26 at halftime. Simanavicius added 11 points.

        "ANC just wore us down," Mark Longstreth said. "The final outcome had very little to do with how we played. They have a very talented team."

        Perkiomen School opened its league schedule Wednesday with a road game against Woodlynde School.






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