COLLEGEDALE — A March Madness feel was generated Tuesday night in an all-out battle between two ground-shaking, early season District 5-AAA hardwood stalwarts. East Hamilton surged out of the …
COLLEGEDALE — A March Madness feel was generated Tuesday night in an all-out battle between two ground-shaking, early season District 5-AAA hardwood stalwarts.
East Hamilton surged out of the gate for the first 11 points, but needed a defensive storm late to seal a 63-58 overtime victory at home, over a previously unbeaten Walker Valley.
Trailing by six points entering the fourth quarter, the Hurricanes locked down their "D" to allow just nine points the rest of the way.
Morrell Schramm and Darwin Randolph turned away a game-winning layup attempt, while Randolph's steal and score took the lead for good with 1:11 left in the extra four-minute period.
Senior Cameron Montgomery finished with a game-high 19 points and four steals to help improve East Hamilton to 9-2 overall, along with a district best 3-0 mark.
The Mustangs (8-1, 3-1 5-AAA) received a stout performance from junior forward Noah Duprey, who finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three of his four blocked shots in the fourth quarter.
WV senior Jordan Munck added 15 points and appeared to draw contact as the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation, but to no avail.
"I am proud of our guys," Mustangs head coach Will Campbell said. "I know it's our first loss, but we were not going to go 35-0 anyways. We gave ourselves a chance to win in a hostile environment against a really great ball club."
Bouncing back from a 19-10 first quarter deficit, a hard-to-predict WV offense fought back in the next frame to take control.
Senior Alex Duke found a shooter's bounce from the left corner as he sunk his team's fifth 3-pointer of the second quarter in as many attempts, to give the Mustangs their first lead of the night, about a minute before halftime.
With 25 seconds left in the first half, a strong pivot fake by Luke Wallace broke down a pair of defenders for a open layup to give Walker Valley a 31-27 lead as they entered the break.
The Mustangs showed aggressiveness with six straight layup attempts to start the second half before Duprey boomed from long-distance. Duke's floater off an assist by Braden Davis put the visitor's ahead 49-43 entering the final quarter.
"They are a well-disciplined team and they work extremely hard," said East Hamilton head coach Frank Jones, who is back on the coaching sideline for the first time since he left Howard in 1999 for administration duties. "They have great shooters and run a lot of different sets out of the screens. We were expecting a big battle and we had one."
Duprey hit four clutch free throws in the final 1:12 of regulation, as he scored all of WV's six points in the fourth quarter.
Blake Campbell's deep 3-pointer with 2:42 left in overtime provided a 58-55 lead, but the Hurricanes went on to score seven unanswered points to emerge victorious.
After a tough loss, an established leader showed no signs of negativity after his team has proven to be a powerful force despite not receiving much hype entering the season.
"We are going to keep our heads up," Duprey said. "We are all together. I would never take anybody else to war. We are doing everything coach has asked us to. We just have to keep executing the play calls and shoot with confidence."
Duke finished in double figures with 10 for WV, while star junior Jamaal Walker poured in 16 and Scrhamm added 13 provided strong nights for the Hurricanes.
"Both teams knew this was a big game and wanted to get a big win," Campbell said. "We played well tonight. I am encouraged by the way we have started the season. We will be prepared and ready for another tough battle when they come to our place."
East Hamilton will travel to "The Stable" on Jan. 25.
"We still haven't played to our potential," Jones said. "I appreciate our guys fighting real hard. We went up against a team who will never quit against anyone. We lost by one in overtime to Cookeville on the road earlier this season and we learned a lot from that."
LADY HURRICANES 66, LADY MUSTANGS 49
With a recent offer from Louisville, Madison Hayes continued to show her Division-I material with 21 points to go along with five steals and three blocks.
East Hamilton (7-3, 2-1) freshman McKenna Hayes added four 3-pointers to help pull away after just a 23-21 halftime lead.
The Lady Hurricanes stole the ball seven times in the third quarter and used a dominant 10-0 run to take a 40-25 lead with 3:22 left before the final eight minutes.
Abbey Davis led Walker Valley (3-5, 1-2) with 13 points.
Walker Valley 10 21 18 6 3 – 58
East Hamilton 19 8 16 12 8 – 63
Walker Valley (58) –Jordan Munck 15, Alex Duke 10, Wallace 2, Noah Duprey 17, Campbell 6, Dans 6, Smith 2, Berger, Belan.
East Hamilton (63) –Jamaal Walker 16, Cameron Montgomery 19, Morrell Schramm 13, S. Randolph 9, Long 2, D. Randolph 4, Crawford.
3-Point Goals – Walker Valley 8 (Dupree 3, Campbell 2, Monck 1, Duke 1), East Hamilton 3 (Montgomery 2, Walker 1).
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