Hampton 2021-22 Winter Sports Recap


Photo from Ms. Byrne

Garrett Gess, Writer

March is finally here as the winter season is coming to a close. Here is a recap of Hampton’s winter sports this year.

Respectable Season for Boys Wrestling

The Talbots have battled to fill the void left by last year’s senior class. Justin Hart, the 2021 WPIAL Class 3A champion and PIAA runner-up at 182 pounds is now a freshman at VMI. Hart is the second-winningest wrestler in program history by compiling a 136-28 career record. Also departing was heavyweight Dawson Dietz, who went 113-32 and had 84 pins for a school record. The Hampton wrestling team has experienced an increase in overall roster size to fill the gap left by Hart and Dietz.

The Talbots still had strong wrestlers returning. The top returning wrestlers were senior WPIAL qualifier Jayden Resch (20-15 last season; 172 lbs), and sophomore Caleb Rihn (14-14; 126 lbs). The three other seniors returning were Alex Haas, Jon Maguire, and Alan Wolfe.

At the Allegheny County Championships in the middle of January, Hampton placed 15th out of 34 wrestling programs. Individually, Caleb Rihn, Alan Wolfe, and Nate Glock made it to the Championship Quarterfinals. Jayden Resch made it further to the Championship Semifinals. At the AAA Individual Section Tournament, Caleb Rihn, Alan Wolfe, Jayden Resch, and Nate Glock did well to advance to Regionals.

The Talbots had a 6-11 overall record and won their last two matches against Mars (40-28) and North Hills (33-31). Jayden Resch had an exceptional 26-7 record this season to put his overall varsity win total at 66.

For next season, Hampton will head down to 2A after playing in 3A during their recent history. The Talbots are hoping that competing against teams with similar enrollments will bring more success moving forward.

Girls Basketball Reached Playoffs

The Lady Talbots had a strong regular-season finish to the 2021-22 basketball season. They were 9-3 in section play and 18-4 overall. Despite not winning the Section Title for a chance at going back-to-back, Hampton still qualified for the playoffs. The Lady Talbots had a strong senior class returning, and most of their players are still on the roster from last season.

The Lady Talbots continued to have big wins in section play by rallying victories with tall margins. Hampton had an 8-0 start where they defeated all eight teams by ten points or more. Last season, Hampton went 15-6 and were the lone Section 2-5A champions. The Lady Talbots were the 3-seed in the WPIAL playoffs but lost to Latrobe 53-48 in the WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinals at home. Hampton came into 2022 with unfinished business and big expectations from last year.

The Lady Talbots finished 2nd in their section and defeated the team ahead of them, Indiana. Hampton has used game-situation and live simulations by utilizing the gym’s scoreboard during practices. They have made an effort to bring a lot of competition to practices and thus translate it to the court.

Hampton has handled big expectations for decades, making the WPIAL playoffs every year from 1993 to 2018. The Lady Talbots had two rebuilding years where they missed the playoffs before last season. Hampton had an 11-32 combined record in those two seasons. Although the WPIAL has very tough competition in 5A, Hampton’s stood among some of the top teams.

Hampton had four of their starters returning and a strong group of girls coming off the bench. Kayla Hoehler, Sophia Kelly, Meghan Murray, Claire Rodgers, and Kat Milon were among the top scorers in the majority of Hampton’s games. In a similar fashion to last season, the Lady Talbots were defeated at home in the playoffs. Hampton was the 8-seed and fell to Oakland Catholic 42-35. Although the playoff finish was very disappointing, Hampton had a successful season as a whole and left plenty of great memories for the departing seniors.

18 Straight Playoff Appearances for Boys Basketball

The Talbots boys basketball team has clinched a playoff spot for the 18th-straight season. The feat ranks in the Top 10 out of the longest WPIAL boys basketball playoff streaks. Hampton is experiencing vast improvements from last season as they finished with a 7-5 conference record and were 13-10 overall.

Last season, Hampton had a very young roster in addition to several quarantine-related issues, causing Hampton to play at less strength. The Talbots had a 3-9 conference record and were 4-16 overall. The playoff streak continued in 2021 as the WPIAL had an open playoff bracket due to COVID-19. Hampton was seeded No. 16 in 5A and would’ve missed the playoffs if it were a typical 12-team WPIAL playoff bracket. Hampton hosted No. 17 McKeesport in the playoffs, losing 73-49.

This year, Hampton ranked at No. 24 in MaxPreps AAAAA Pennsylvania High School Basketball Rankings. The Talbots’ win/loss record is above average, but Hampton faces some of the toughest competition in the state by playing in the WPIAL. Besides the challenges in Class 5A Section 4, Hampton scheduled tough non-conference matchups against Fox Chapel, North Hills, and Butler.

The Talbots built some late-season momentum with 4-straight wins over Armstrong, Fairview, Shaler, and Indiana. Before the winning streak, Hampton lost a heartbreaker to Deer Lakes in the 4th quarter by blowing a 44-32 lead. Hampton came into this year’s playoffs with a more experienced roster and has much higher expectations than last season. The Talbots have three seniors: Matt DeMatteo, Bobby Oliver, and Zander Plizga, with a strong group of juniors having starting roles.

The Talbots regular season concluded with a loss to the Butler Tornado by a score of 72-65. In the playoffs, Hampton ranked as the No. 8 seed in the WPIAL bracket and hosted No. 9 Kiski. Hampton defeated Kiski 66-60 but fell in the next round at No. 1 Laurel Highlands 52-44. Hampton had a 2nd quarter lead over Laurel Highlands and showed great fight, but came up short of the big upset. Hampton will be heading down to 4A next season to compete against smaller schools. With already a strong junior class who will age next season into seniors, Hampton has a great chance of making a deep run in next year’s 4A WPIAL playoffs.