Walker Valley girls coach Jessica Stone sent in a new line crew early in the second quarter and the Lady Mustangs finally powered up enough to win over the Lady Red Raiders 55-31.
In the closer, the Mustangs were overpowered by Baylor’s Reggie Upshaw, who lit up the scoreboard for 29 points in a 61-40 Red Raiders win.
“There was no energy at all. I figured coming into tonight there would be a drop from last night as emotionally draining and as physically draining as it was,” Lady Mustangs coach Jessica Stone said, referring to Tuesday’s battle with Bradley Central. “I don’t want to make excuses for them, but I figured there would be a drop. I just didn’t figure it would be that bad.”
The lack of voltage was evident from the outset for both teams early in the girls game. The Lady Mustangs outperformed the Lady Red Raiders by a single point in the first quarter and led 9-8 headed into the second.
The continued drowsy play forced Stone to pull all five Lady Mustangs off the floor a minute and a half into the period. Jaclyn Griffith responded immediately with a 3-pointer and the Lady Mustangs followed up with six more points to take an 18-12 lead capped off by a Peyton Davis 3.
Griffith was the only Lady Mustang to reach double figures with 12 points.
Baylor hung tough the rest of the half, but Walker Valley held the momentum and would not give it up the rest of the way.
“I put in the other five to prove a point. If they didn’t give me some energy and some attention they wouldn’t play. And they responded in the third quarter, fortunately,” said Stone.
The Lady Mustangs responded with 18 third-quarter points. Wendi Watson opened with a 3 and Davis put Walker Valley up 37-20 with back-to-back 3’s minutes later. Victoria Jones closed out the outburst and the quarter with a final trey to give the Lady Mustangs a 44-22 lead after holding Baylor to only two points.
Walker Valley widened the gap to 49-22 early in the fourth and led 51-27 midway through the quarter before closing out their final win of the regular season.
“We have nine days off. They need a couple of days’ break. They are worn out,” said Stone with a cautionary tone. “I’m just hoping this nine-day break doesn’t break our momentum. We’ve been playing so much better the last six or seven games.”
RED RAIDERS 61,
The Mustangs suffered from the same lack of energy in their regular season closer as the Lady Mustangs, but were unable to conjure up any wattage against the Red Raiders.
Baylor pulled away to a 15-7 first quarter lead and never gave any slack to the struggling Mustangs. Baylor broke a 19-19 tie and scored the final 10 points of the half to lead 29-19 at the break.
“I knew it would be (lacking in energy) from last night,” Williams said of the emotional battle with the Bears won by the Mustangs with a last-second shot. “Our goal tonight was just to get through it. We’ve got more important stuff next week, I just wish we could have ended it last night and get ready for next week.”
Walker Valley suffered what could have been a devastating loss in the opening minute of the second half, when Lukas Korn went down with an injury to his left hand after being fouled. Korn went to the bench with 10 points.
“I think he is fine. His hand stretched back when he got fouled, but he seems fine now,” said Williams.
The rest of the half belonged to the Upshaw-led Red Raiders. Baylor opened a 46-34 lead after three quarters and added 15 more in the fourth to lock up the win.
“Baylor, I knew, was going to be tough without any preparation, especially having Upshaw back. He is a great player,” said the Walker Valley coach. “We’ve just got to move forward and get ready for next week.”
LADY MUSTANGS 55, BAYLOR 31
Walker Valley 9 17 18 11 — 55
Baylor 8 12 2 9 — 31
Walker Valley (55) — Jaclyn Griffith 12, P. Davis 9, Jones 7, Watson 6, Macon 5, Percy 4, Alomar 4, Mowery 4, Wilson 3, C. Davis 1, Cox, Spann.
Baylor (31) — Kaufman 6, Hubert 6, Harmon 5, Popp 5, Long 4, Huckabay 3, Carter 2, Birdsong, Smith, Blackman, Gautier, McMahan.
3-point goals: Walker Valley 8 (P. Davis 3, Watson 2, Jones, Griffith, Wilson); Baylor 1 (Harmon).
Records: Walker Valley 14-13; Baylor 12-12.
RED RAIDERS 61, MUSTANGS 40
Walker Valley 7 12 15 6 — 40
Baylor 15 14 17 15 — 61
Walker Valley (40) — Lukas Korn 10, Brownfield 8, Godfrey 5, Morrow 5, Cartwright 4, Harwood 3, Melton 3, Swafford 2, Anthony, Hysinger, Russell, Cross, Hunt.
Baylor (61) — Reggie Upshaw 29, Matt Clendenen 14, Born 7, Lupas 2, Seaberg 2, Bowen 2, Ga. Upshaw 1, Maaum, Linehart, Kelly, Chen.
3-point goals: Walker Valley 1 (Godfrey); Baylor 4 (R. Upshaw 3, Born).
Records: Walker Valley 15-11; Baylor 12-8.