The Lady Mustangs had little trouble with the Hardin Valley Lady Hawks in a 62-51 win. The Mustangs closed out the night coming back from a nine-point first quarter deficit and held off the hard-charging Hawks by a score of 67-60.
“We’re still working on things. I think some of the girls are starting to figure out what it takes to win basketball games. We are becoming more consistent,” said Lady Mustangs coach Jessica Stone.
Kar Alomar’s 3-pointer with just over three minutes left in the first quarter put the Lady Mustangs up 9-4 over Hardin. Alomar lifted in three 3-pointers in the win and ended her night with 15 points for Walker Valley.
The Lady Mustangs’ Jaclyn Griffith led all scoring with 19 points.
Alomar and Griffith both hit from behind the arc in the second quarter teaming with DJ Mowery, Lyndsey Macon and Rachel Percy to put the Lady Mustangs on top 37-24 at halftime.
“Were shooting the ball remarkably well so far. We have hit 45 percent for the season from the 3-point line as of right now,” said Stone.
Hardin Valley rallied back in the third quarter to cut Walker Valley’s lead to eight points midway through the period. But the Lady Mustangs jumped right back into action, building the lead to 11 and went on to hold a 49-36 advantage heading into the fourth.
Once again the Lady Hawks fought back to close the gap to 55-48 with 3:22 left to play, but could not find the combination down the stretch to make another run.
The Lady Mustangs locked up the win from the free-throw line after Hardin was forced to foul late in the game. Walker Valley dropped 7-of-9 through the nylons to close it out.
“They played super hard. I never have any negative comments about how hard they play or the energy they play with. We still make turnovers we shouldn’t make, we still do things we shouldn’t do. But as their experience will help them,” said the Lady Mustangs’ coach.
“Right now we are thinking about Hamilton Heights. They are like Bradley, they are real big. I think that will be a good chance for us as far as going into the break. We have Bradley our first game back after the break.”
MUSTANGS 67, HAWKS 60
It looked in the early going that visiting Hardin Valley might run away with a win over the Mustangs.
The Hawks scored the final 10 points of the first quarter to put the Mustangs on the ropes early in the closer before Walker Valley fought back in the second to take the lead and hold on for the win.
“It was a great effort. It seems like an eternity since we played last Friday and that left a bad taste in our mouths. Tonight kind of got that out of our system a little bit,” said Mustangs coach Bob Williams.
“I think it was a group effort. Everybody that came in the game contributed tonight.”
Holding a 21-12 lead to open the second quarter, Hardin stayed out front until a pair of free throws by Lukas Korn put the Mustangs out front to stay.
Brandon crews followed with a 3 from the left corner to put Walker Valley on top 30-26 with just over a minute left to play in the first half. Two points from Austin Harwood gave the Mustangs a 32-28 lead at the half.
“The guys never gave up. I told them at halftime we dug ourselves out of a hole. We had a good second quarter. We scored 20 to their seven,” said Williams.
Harwood led the Mustangs with 22 points followed by Crews and Dustin Swafford with 14 each.
Hardin Valley’s Zack Carter set the scoring standard for the night with 31 points.
“They have a good player in Carter. He’s tough. I’ve never seen him before,” complimented Williams. “Austin was doing a good job, we were trying to get him help, but (Carter) still got his points. He is quality player.”
The third quarter saw both teams score in groups of four points with the Mustangs holding a two- to six-point advantage. Crews put Walker Valley up 46-42 as the third quarter came to a close.
Crews opened the fourth at the free-throw line and made good on two shots to give the Mustangs a 48-43 lead.
While Valley scored its next eight points from the floor the Hawks were busy at the free-throw line. Hardin scored 12 of its 18 fourth quarter points from the line. The Hawks’ first field goal in the fourth came with 3:34 left in the game and cut what had been an eight-point Walker Valley lead to 54-50.
The Hawks pulled to within two at 60-58 with 1:17 to go but were forced to send the Mustangs to the line after Walker Valley pulled out to a 63-58 lead. Logan Melton and Crews made sure the Mustangs kept the Hawks at arm’s length with four free tosses to ice the win.
“This is good experience for us. These guys have been though it a little bit, but I told them they are going to get better and better in finishing games. It’s great experience right there, trying to hold onto a lead at the end,” said Williams.
LADY MUSTANGS 62, LADY HAWKS 51
Hardin Valley 8 16 12 11 — 51
Walker Valley 20 17 12 13 — 62
Hardin Valley (51) — Brie Carter 18, Lacy Cantrell 16, Brooklyn Battle 14, Massey 2, Stone.
Walker Valley (62) — Jaclyn Griffith 19, Kat Alomar 15, Jones 9, Macon 8, Mowery 5, Spann 4, Percy 2, Beavers, P. Davis.
3-point goals: Hardin Valley 4 (Battle); Walker Valley 6 (Alomar 3, Griffith 2, Jones).
Records: Walker Valley 2-1.
MUSTANGS 67, HAWKS 60
Hardin Valley 21 7 14 18 — 60
Walker Valley 12 20 14 21 — 67
Hardin Valley (60) — Zack Carter 31, Blaine Shockly 14, Clevenger 2, Brayton 3, Thompson 4, Brown 6, Glasco, Beckham, Linebaugh, McCroskey.
Walker Valley (67) — Austin Harwood 22, Brandon Crews 14, Dustin Swafford 14, Morrow 7, Melton 6, Korn 2, Williams 2, Russell, Jones, Heard.
3-point goals: Hardin Valley 5 (Shockly 2, Brown, Brayton, Carter); Walker Valley 5 (Harwood 2, Crews 2, Morrow).
Records: Hardin Valley 2-2; Walker Valley 2-1.