The Mustangs and Owls combined for 173 points in a four quarter run-and-gun display. In the end, it was the Owls hitting the target more often, slowing down the Herd just enough to fly home with a 90-83 district win.
The Lady Mustangs opened the night with a relatively easy 55-42 victory over the Lady Owls.
Seniors Brandon Crews and Lukas Korn scored 38 of the Mustangs’ 83 points. Crews left the floor with 20 and Korn with 18. But it was Ooltewah’s Ben Snider doing the damage for the Owls by booking just eight fewer than the Crews and Korn total — including 10 points in the final three minutes of the game to salt it away for the Owls.
“When we got tired we weren’t able to get the loose balls or get the rebounds. We played a good game for three quarters,” said Walker Valley coach Bob Williams.
“(Ooltewah’s) Ben Snider played a great game but we let him get his misses. If he missed he’d get it or they’d get the loose ball. It’s got to be an all-out effort the whole game. You can’t be just go once in a while, it’s got to be the whole time. We’ve got to play the whole game.”
Nine of Snider’s 30 came from behind the 3-point arc. Crews hit four 3-pointers for the Mustangs. Austin Harwood added 12 points to the Walker Valley total.
The Mustangs, after taking a 20-14 lead in the first quarter, lit up the board for 25 in the second. Not to be outdone, the Owls, who trailed the majority of the first half tied the game twice late in the second and also poured in 25 points, but still found themselves down 45-39 at halftime.
There was no letup from the floor in the third quarter. Crews answered a four-point Ooltewah (11-8, 3-2 District 5-AAA) run with back-to-back 3s to put the Mustangs (11-9, 3-5) out front 51-44. The Owls chipped away at the Walker Valley lead finally tying the game 63-63 with 2:21 left in the quarter and again 67-67 with 1:11 left. Ooltewah took a brief two-point lead with just under a minute to go before Korn put the Mustangs back on top 71-69 to close out the third frame.
Ooltewah again knotted the score and jumped ahead by three with just over six minutes left to play and the Mustangs’ scoring machine began to sputter. Bryce Nunnelly’s free throws brought the Mustangs within one at 74-73. The Owls’ Snider took control of the Ooltewah offense with just over five minutes left to play, scoring 11 of the final 13 points for the Owls.
Logan Melton made it 85-83 with a 3 with 1:04 on the clock. But, two missed 3-point attempts inside 14 seconds gave the Owls the win.
The Mustangs will be tested again Friday in another district bash with McMinn County in Athens
“We trusted each other for 3 1/2 quarters then we start doing our own thing again. That’s not what got us to that point. We’ve got to trust each other the whole game and take good shots,” said Williams.
“I asked them how they want the season to finish up. We’re getting down toward the end, we’ve got a few more district games and we have to fix some things or it will be one and done.”
LADY MUSTANGS 55,
LADY OWLS 42
Kat Alomar lifted in a 3 to send the Lady Mustangs (11-7, 5-2 District 5-AAA) on a 23-point first quarter scoring spree. Victoria Jones added two more 3-pointers and the Walker Valley defense held the Lady Owls (5-10, 3-3) to only six points after the first eight minutes.
From there, the 3s were a bit more difficult to come by for the Lady Mustangs who hit only 7-of-23 from behind the arc on the night.
“They were good tonight. They had a lot of intensity. We settled for 3s to much and we didn’t rebound very well. We didn’t do a good job there,” said Lady Mustangs coach Jessica Stone.
“I thought our defense was great. They guarded well one-on-one. They did well with that the first half, then when they did get beat there was help.”
All 12 of Jones’ points came from behind the line. It was Jaclyn Griffith, however who led the Lady Mustangs in scoring. Griffith stayed inside the 3-point line to book 17 for Walker Valley.
Alomar provided another 3 for the Lady Mustangs to put the hosts up 28-10 with just over four minutes left in the first half. Jones lifted in the final trey of the half for Walker Valley to put the Lady Owls behind 34-12. The Lady Mustangs led 36-16 at the half.
Jones opened the third quarter with her last 3 and Jaclyn Griffith hit the last 3-pointer of the game for the Lady Mustangs with 1:37 left to give to give Walker Valley a 45-23 lead.
The Lady Owls cut into the Walker Valley lead as Stone substituted freely in the final eight minutes. Ooltewah cut it to 48-36 before Stone sent her first line back to the court to finish up the 55-40 win.
Stone said she was pleased to see her Lady Mustangs stay calm and play basketball as the lead dwindled.
“They’ve been in that position before. They are mature, they are juniors and seniors now. As far as that’s concerned it’s really good to see,” she said.
“We need to get better on some things especially this time of the year. We need to be peaking going into the district tournament. There are just little things we need to clean up and get ready to go Friday night.”
LADY MUSTANGS 55, LADY OWLS 42
Ooltewah 6 10 9 17 — 42
Walker Valley 23 13 11 8 — 55
Ooltewah (42) — India Corey 17, Taylor 6, Baker 6, Henderson 6, Cooper 3, G. Hall 2, Jones 2, Cain, Lemon, Jones, H. Hall, Thompson, Reed, K. Cox, C. Cox.
Walker Valley (55) — Jaclyn Griffith 17, Victoria Jones 12, Alomar 8, Mowery 6, P. Davis 5, Macon 4, Spann 2, Percy 1, Patel, Lay, C. Davis, White.
3-point goals: Ooltewah 4 (Corley 2, Taylor, Cooper); Walker Valley 7 (Jones 4, Alomar 2, Griffith).
Records: Ooltewah 5-10, 3-3 District 5-AAA; Walker Valley 11-7, 5-2.
OWLS 90, MUSTANGS 83
Ooltewah 14 25 30 21 — 90
Walker Valley 20 25 26 12 — 83
Ooltewah (90) — Ben Snider 30, Ron King 17, Jareck Boyd 16, Fritz 9, Johnson 5, Montgomery 3, Freeman 3, Ross 2.
Walker Valley (83) — Brandon Crews 20, Lukas Korn 18, Austin Harwood 12, Jones 8, Melton 8, Nunnelly 7, Herd 4, Swafford 4, Morrow 2, Russell.
3-point goals: Ooltewah 6 (Snider 3, King 2, Fritz); Walker Valley 5 (Crews 4, Melton).
Records: Ooltewah 11-8, 3-2 District 5-AAA; Walker Valley 11-9, 3-5.