The Mustangs rolled over Murray County (Ga.) 56-25 in the opening round Thursday and then held off a late charge by White County for a 52-46 victory Friday evening to earn a spot in Saturday night’s title game.
Walker Valley took on Murfreesboro Riverdale, which had defeated the host Bruins 66-52 and Coahulla Creek (Ga.) 61-46, after press time Saturday evening (full details will be in Monday’s Banner).
Handing White County just its second loss of the season Friday, Walker Valley (8-4) held the Warriors (10-2) to just 19 first half points while putting in 25 itself.
“Our defense has been playing well, and to hold them to just 19 points in the first half was big,” declared Mustang head coach Bob Williams. “They [White] came back in the fourth quarter, and we were able to hold them off.”
Walker Valley stretched its advantage to double digits points by the close of the third frame, but White County caught fire for 20 final period points, while the Mustangs netted 17.
“We were up by 10 points late then let them come back,” Coach Williams remarked. “We’ve got to do a better job of holding onto the ball with the lead late in games.”
“We’ve been in several close games this season, but our guys are giving a great effort and playing hard,” the Mustang mentor commented.
The senior trio of Lukas Korn, Brandon Crews and Logan Melton each netted double figures for Walker Valley in the victory.
Korn posted a game-high 20 points, while Crews netter a trio of 3-pointers on his way to 13 markers, while Melton drilled a pair of treys in his 10 points.
Kordell Henderson and Cade Crosland paced White County with 16 and 15 points respectively.
Walker Valley ripped the chords for 11 3-pointers in the lopsided win over Murray County in the opening round.
Crews sizzled the nylon with a half dozen long-range bombs for a game-high 18 points.
The Mustangs also got treys from Sean Conway, Malik Montgomery, Jim Williams, Josh Herd and Melton in the contest.
Korn and Dustin Swafford helped out the scoring total with eight and six points respectively.
Walker Valley galloped out to a 20-3 advantage by the first horn against the Indians and then steadily added to the lead as a total of 13 players took the court for the Mustangs throughout the 31-point victory.
Coach Williams’ crew will take this week off before facing Ooltewah Saturday afternoon at 4 in a resumption of the District 5-AAA game that was suspended earlier this month due to slippery conditions in “The Barn.”
While the boys were advancing to the title game in their holiday tournament, the Walker Valley girls split their first two games at the Rhea County Pre-Christmas Tournament and played Saturday in the event’s third-place game.
The Lady Mustangs (8-4) defeated Pigeon Forge (8-5) by a 70-56 tally in the opening round Thursday, but fell to Middle Tennessee powerhouse Cannon County (14-1) 53-34 Friday.
Cannon County, a Final Four team at the 2013 TSSAA Class AA state tournament, played host Rhea County (10-2) for the championship Saturday, while Walker Valley faced Brainerd in the third-place game.
(No individual details were available from the first two Lady Mustang tournament games).
Murray County (Ga.) 3 7 8 7 — 25
Walker Valley 20 10 13 13 — 56
INDIANS (25) — Stuckey 7, Hicks 6, Childers 4, Romero 3, Stiles 2, Lamar 1.
MUSTANGS (54) — Brandon Crews 18, Korn 8, Swafford 6, Conway 5, Montgomery 5, Jones 4, Melton 3, Williams 3, Herd 3, Morrow 1, Russell, Harwood, Hunt.
3-POINTERS: Murray 2 (Hicks 2); WV 11 (Crews 6, Conway, Montgomery, Melton, Herd, Williams).
RECORDS: Walker Valley 7-4.
White County 12 7 7 20 — 46
Walker Valley 18 7 10 17 — 52
WARRIORS (46) — Kordell Henderson 16, Cade Crosland 15, Nash 6, Stephenson 4, Vaughn 2, Bruce 2, Newport 1.
MUSTANGS (52) — Lukas Korn 20, Brandon Crews 13, Logan Melton 10, Harwood 6, Jones 3, Swafford, Russell, Williams, Morrow.
3-POINTERS: White 4 (Crosland 3, Henderson); WV 6 (Crews 3, Melton 2, Harwood).
RECORDS: White County 10-2; Walker Valley 8-4.