'County Conflict' highlights weekend

By JOE CANNON
Posted 1/10/19

Two of the four head coaches involved in Friday night's "County Conflict" are looking for milestone victories, while the other two just recently passed noteworthy marks in their sideline …

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'County Conflict' highlights weekend

Posted

Two of the four head coaches involved in Friday night's "County Conflict" are looking for milestone victories, while the other two just recently passed noteworthy marks in their sideline careers.

Bradley Central's Jason Reuter is going for victory No. 250 in his ninth season in charge of the Bearettes, while Walker Valley's Will Campbell is facing the Bears for the first time as a head coach.

Lady Mustang mentor Paul Cretton passed the 300-game mark earlier this week, while Bradley's Chuck Clark notched his 100th victory as a head coach Tuesday.

All four were longtime assistants under legendary head coaches before taking over the reins, with Reuter, Cretton and Clark already well-established winners and Campbell off to a strong 15-1 start to his head coaching career. 

Reuter (249-31) and Clark (100-61) trained at the side of all-time Bear victory leader Kent Smith (436-135), while Cretton (228-74) played for (at Lee College) and coached alongside Earl Rowan (275-151). Campbell spent the last decade seated beside "Big Game" Bob Williams (341-218 and still counting at NW Whitfield, Ga.).

The boys game at "The Stable" will draw the most attention Friday, as Clark's Bears (9-6, 2-3) try to get back into the District 5-AAA race, while Campbell's Herd (15-1, 4-1) has been the surprise of the first half of the season.

With four players — Jordan Munck, Blake Campbell, Noah Duprey and Alex Duke — averaging in double figures, the Mustangs have stampeded to more than 71 points a game on average, including nine 70-plus tallies, with a 94-point high mark.

Currently riding a seven-game winning streak, Walker Valley is giving up just an average of 56.4 ppg, with its lone loss coming in overtime to district leader East Hamilton (13-3, 5-0).

Meanwhile, Bradley has ripped the cords at a 62.7 ppg pace, with a high of 82, while surrendering 58.1.

Having won four of their last five games, the Bear offense is led by double-digit effort from sophomore Tray Curry and freshman Quante Berry.

The 6-foot-5 Curry is netting 14.5 ppg and clearing 3.9 rpg. Berry, a 6-foot-1 point guard is netting 12.3 ppg and is coming off a 21-point performance, hitting 4-of-5 3 point attempts.

While Bradley won the first 10 games of the series, Walker Valley followed with a half dozen straight victories. The Bears currently hold a 26-15 all-time edge, including a 13-3 advantage in regular season games at "The Stable." 

The Bearettes also have 26 wins over their neighbors to the north, against 13 losses, but have won 20 of the last 21 meetings to gain that edge. Walker Valley was victorious in 12 of the first 19 battles.

Reuter is 19-3 against the Lady Mustangs, while Cretton, who was 177-24 in six seasons as the Bearettes head coach, has yet to defeat his former team in nine tries.

Ranked third in the state and 36th nationally by MaxPreps, Bradley (16-2, 5-0) comes into Friday's matchup with four straight double-digit wins, including a 79-17 dismantling of Soddy-Daisy Tuesday evening.

Samford commit Anna Walker leads the Bearette's 53.9 ppg with 13 points and 6.7 rebounds an outing.

Sophomore Jamaryn Blair pitches in with 11 markers, 4.1 caroms, 2.8 assists and 2.3 steals a night.

Senior Kaleigh Hughes has drilled 26 3-pointers while notching 7.4 points and snatching 3.8 boards a game.

Walker Valley (6-10, 2-3) has dropped its last three outing to teams with a combined 42-15 record, since losing senior and leading scorer Abbey Davis to a knee injury.

Coach Cretton's Fillies are looking to Laney Harris, Madison Rue, Cayce Davis and Gracie Fowler to pick up the scoring slack.

In other key district action Friday, Cleveland High will entertain McMinn County.

The Lady Raiders (10-11, 4-1) and Lady Cherokees (15-5, 3-2)  are battling for second place in the 5-AAA race, along with East Hamilton (12-7, 3-2).

The Blue Raiders (15-4, 3-2) are riding a seven-game winning streak, while the Tribe (6-8, 1-4)  are trying to climb back into the district race. 

Ooltewah is also playing a twin bill at East Hamilton on Friday night, as teams wrap up the first half of the district schedule before making the turn for the homestretch of the regular season.

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