MARYVILLE — After winning 15 of their first 16 games last season, Walker Valley is off to another strong start to the hoop season claiming their fifth win in a half dozen tries with victories each of the last two days at the Heritage Thanksgiving Classic.
"Today (Saturday) was a fun game. It was a shootout," proclaimed Mustang head coach Will Campbell of Saturday's 85-80 defeat of Maryville.
"It was a good test for us. They are a really good team. Well coached. Physical. We played well," he added. "Gotta lot of work to do still. A lot of things to sharpen up."
Walker Valley also notched a 73-56 win over the host Mountaineers on Friday.
Senior Stallion Blake Campbell smoked the cords for 48 points in the victories, including a sizzlin' dozen long-range bombs.
The Walker Valley girls weren't as fortunate in the event, falling to Heritage 71-39 in the opener, plus dropping a 55-53 heartbreaker to 2019 TSSAA D-II state quarterfinalist Knox Webb Saturday afternoon.
Both Herds will have a little time off before opening District 5-AAA play Friday as Ooltewah invades "The Stable."
In a slower pace than the rest of the game, Maryville (3-2) claimed a 15-10 edge at the end of the opening period before the teams exploded for a combined 140 points in the final 24 minutes.
Campbell's Herd (5-1) went on a 31-18 stampede during the second quarter for an eight-point (41-33) halftime edge.
The Rebels were able to rally in the third period to shave three points off the lead, but the final frame saw both teams net 24 points to give the game it's final tally.
Six of WV's seven scorers reached double figures in the high-paced action.
The younger Campbell was true on 5-of-6 attempts beyond the arc, plus went 6-for-7 at the free throw line on his way to a team-high 23 points.
Sophomore Seth Sausville drained both of his shots from "downtown" and drained 5-of-6 charity tosses as he collected 15 points.
Senior Sam Belau also had a hot hand, hitting four from distance on his way to 14 points.
Junior Hayden Moore went 4-for-4 from the field, including a trio of treys, for an 11-point effort, while seniors Noah Duprey and Jake Smith each punched in 10 points.
As a team, WV was more accurate from distance, drilling 14-for-19 (73.6%) shots from beyond the arc and 15-of-27 (55.5%) in front of it. The Mustangs also made 13-of-17 (76.5) from the charity stripe.
Despite missing its lone free throw attempt, Walker Valley won three of the four quarters to breeze past the hosts.
Leading 22-17 at the first horn and 42-33 at the intermission, Walker Valley slipped a little in a 10-17 third frame before hitting a full gallop down the stretch, doubling up Heritage 20-10 in the final eight minutes.
Campbell blistered the nylon for team-high 25 points, including seven 3-pointers.
Fellow senior Sam Belau ripped the chords for 18, with four long-range bombs of his own.
Sophomore Jake Smith helped out with 10 markers, while senior Noah Duprey netted nine, including one of the dozen Mustang treys in the contest.
LADY SPARTANS 55
LADY MUSTANGS 53
"It was back-and-forth the whole game," related first-year WV coach Drew Lyness of the game that was tied until the final shot. "They hit a shot with 1.6 seconds left."
Walker Valley jumped out to a 17-14 edge at the first buzzer and stretched its edge just a touch to 29-25 at the midway point.
Webb used a strong 16-9 start to the second half to take the lead and then was able to hold off the hard charging Fillies 15-14 down the stretch.
Senior three-sport standout Laney Harris, who has signed to play softball for Lee University, led the Fillies with 17 points.
Sophomore Cayci Davis helped out with a 14-point performance, while Michele Benson and Emma Bentley posted nine and eight respectively.
LADY MOUNTAINEERS 71
LADY MUSTANGS 39
Walker Valley (1-4) fell in an early hole to the unbeaten Heritage squad (5-0), trailing 20-7 at the first break.
The hosts poured it on 23-9 in the second frame for a 27-point (43-16) halftime advantage.
The Lady Mustang offense had a little better success after the intermission, but were still outscored 23-28 in the final 16 minutes.
Senior Laney Harris and junior Emma Bentley paced WV with eight points apiece, while Marissa Patel netted five.
The Lady Mustangs got 18 of their points at the free throw line with Harris hitting all six of her attempts, while sophomore Cayci Davis sank 4-of-5 and senior Tasia Robert went 3-for-4 at the stripe.
Playing on her home court, Lexy Patty topped the Heritage effort with 19 points, wile Rebekeh Godfrey added 10.
Heritage Thanksgiving Classic
at Heritage HS, Maryville
Saturday, Nov. 30
Walker Valley10312024 — 85
Maryville15182324 — 80
MUSTANGS (85) Blake Campbell 23, Seth Sausville 15, Sam Belau 14, Hayden Moore 11, Jake Smith 10, Noah Duprey 10, Berger 2.
REBELS (80) Anderson 32, Brown 17, Dorsey 17, Seiler 5, Burroughs 3, Cox 3, Williamson 3.
3-POINTERS: WV 14 (Campbell 5, Belau 4, Moore 3, Sausville 2); Maryville 10 (Anderson 4, Brown, Dorsey, Cox, Williamson, Selier, Burroughs).
FREE THROWS: WV 13-of-17; Maryville 12-of-15.
RECORDS: Walker Valley 5-1; Maryville 3-2.
Walker Valley 17 12 915 — 53
Knox Webb14111614 — 55
LADY MUSTANGS (53) — Laney Harris 17, Cayci Davis 14, Michele Benson 9, Emma Bentley 8, Patel 3, Jaynes 2, Weatherby, Roberts.
LADY SPARTANS (55) — Madelyn Ladd 14, Britney Collier 13, Shae Berry 12, Knowles 6, Green 5, Harsh 2, Dunn 2, Sampson 1.
3-POINTERS: WV 3 (Bentley 2, Patel); KW 5 (Collier 3, Green, Berry).
FREE THROWS: WV 18-of-29; KW 8-of-10.
RECORDS: Walker Valley 1-5; Knox Webb n/a.
Friday, Nov. 29
Walker Valley22201020 — 73
Heritage17161310 — 56
MUSTANGS (73) Blake Campbell 25, Sam Belau 18, Jake Smith 10, Noah Duprey 9, Reid Berger 6, Sausville 4, Cannon.
MOUNTAINEERS (60) Tate Daniels 27, Jacob Powell 17, Caparoso 5, Johnson 4, Campbell 3, Rollins.
3-POINTERS: WV 12 (Campbell 7, Belau 4, Duprey); Heritage 8 (Daniels 6, Campbell, Caparoso).
FREE THROWS: WV 0-of-1; Heritage 7-of-11.
RECORDS: Walker Valley 4-1; Heritage 1-3.
Walker Valley 7 91013 — 39
Heritage20231711 — 71
LADY MUSTANGS (39) — Laney Harris 8, Emma Bentley 8, Marissa Patel 5, Jaynes 4, Davis 4, Caldwell 3, Roberts 3, B. Harris 3, Benson 1, Lonas, Weatherby, Gale.
LADY MOUNTAINEERS (71) — Lexy Patty 19, Rebekeh Godfrey 10, Sara Swafford 9, Emma Harig 9, Katlin Burger 8, Waters 5, Cline 4, Hamilton 2, Herman 2, French 2, Larosa 1, Davis.
3-POINTERS: WV 3 (B. Harris, Bentley, Patel); Heritage 6 (Swafford 3, Patty 2, Waters).
FREE THROWS: WV 18-of-29; Heritage 7-of-9.
RECORDS: Walker Valley 1-4; Heritage 5-0.