Hampton coach Walter Brower wasn't making a big deal about it, but his kids knew. You could tell when the clock hit triple zeroes and they mobbed him on the bench.
Brower won his 500th career game Friday night as the Crabbers beat Gloucester 69-50 behind Anthony Barber's 27 points. Afterward, Brower was presented with a plaque and the game ball.
"This means everything," he said. "I'm so glad to see some of my former players coming out to the game. Frank Edgar, he told me he was part of my first win here (coaching the JV team in 1977), and he wanted to be here for the 500th.
"No way I could have imagined this. I've had some great players over the years, and they're all a part of this. Thank goodness for (assistants)
and Walter Brower Jr."
In his 29th season at Hampton, Brower already was the winningest boys' basketball coach in Peninsula District history. But with Friday night's win, he became the 22nd coach in state history to win 500 games.
Woodside's Mike Tallon, who is in his 29th season coaching girls' basketball, has 529 wins.
Brower has had only four losing seasons in 29 years. Three of those came in his first four seasons on the job.
"It meant a lot to us to get it for him tonight," Barber said. "He puts up with our stuff in practices and deals with us every day. We love him, and he loves us. We had to get it for him.
"He says he's not going to retire until after I leave here, and that means everything to me. He's the best coach I've ever had."
Though Barber got his points as always, he got some help. Jordan Baker finished with 10 points, seven coming in the second half. Tre and Cameron Perry had seven and six, respectively, and Brandon Joyner came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers — the first from midcourt to beat the buzzer to end the third quarter.
"There was an article in the paper that said (Barber) needed some help from his teammates, and they helped him," Brower said. "They're growing up and still learning to play the game."
Gloucester (5-8, 3-7) led briefly in the first quarter and was only down by six after A.J. Hamilton's free throws with 3:42 left. But the Crabbers closed the period with a 10-4 run and took a 30-18 lead into halftime.
Hamilton's 3-pointer with 56 seconds left in the third cut Hampton's lead to 42-30. But Baker's layup and Joyner's half-court 3 pushed the lead to 17 going into the fourth. The Crabbers coasted from there by hitting 12-of-20 free throws.
HAMPTON 69, GLOUCESTER 50
GLOUCESTER (5-8, 3-7)
: Greenauer 2, Bennett 4, Morgan 11, Smith 10, Wise 9, Hamilton 8, Wilson 6. Totals: 18 10-30 50.
HAMPTON (8-6, 7-3)
: Baker 10, Moore 1, Davis 2, Barber 27, Joyner 9, C. Perry 6, T. Perry 7, Royal 6. Totals: 20 24-37 69.
: Hampton 5 (Joyner 3, Barber, Baker), Gloucester 4 (Hamilton 2, Morgan, Wilson).