The Lady Mustangs secured an exciting, 67-60 double overtime victory against the Lady Panthers, which was followed up by an 11-point win by the Mustangs over the Panthers.
Following a tough, 47-45 loss to District 5-AAA opponent McMinn County Friday, a tough practice proved beneficial prior to the trip up to Lenoir City.
“I was on them real hard at practice, and I thought they responded great,” Walker Valley head coach Jessica Stone said.
The Lady Mustangs learned quickly in the first quarter that the Lady Panthers were a team on a mission.
Four minutes into the game Walker Valley had an 8-7 lead, only to see that lead turn into a three-point deficit following a pair of treys by Lenoir City in the remaining minutes of the first quarter.
Trailing 13-10 going into the second quarter, the Lady Mustangs saw the Lady Panthers were able to control the remaining eight minutes of the first half, putting up 12 point to Walker Valley’s four.
In the third quarter the Lady Mustangs were able to charge back into the game.
A pair of back-to-back 3-pointers by Peyton Davis brought Walker Valley within five points of the home team, ultimately signaling the swing in momentum.
“Peyton Davis hit two real big 3-pointers for us in the third,” Stone declared.
Jaclyn Griffith netted two baskets in the final minutes of the quarter, which narrowed the Lady Mustangs’ deficit to 35-31, going into the final quarter.
“Going into the fourth quarter we were down by three, but we just kept battling and never gave up,” Stone commented.
The Lady Mustangs were able to tie things up 43-all following a pair of free throws by Griffith with 1:15 remaining.
The Lady Panthers’ had the chance to win the game from the charity stripe with only 3.7 seconds left on the clock, but both free throws missed their mark, pushing the game into overtime.
“I thought we had the momentum at the end of the game, and I thought that carried over into both overtimes,” Stone explained. “Lenoir City kept hitting those 3’s though, but we fought hard and I’m proud of that.”
The Lady Mustangs charged into the first four minutes of overtime with a 7-point run that was broken up by the Lady Panthers with a little under two minutes remaining.
Once again, the 3-point shooting skills of the home team came back to haunt the Lady Mustangs, who saw the game tied up at 55-all following a Lady Panthers’ trey with two seconds left.
The teams opened up the next four minutes of overtime with a 3-pointer each and kept the tied game going until a free-throw by Lyndsey Macon with 1:51 remaining gave Walker Valley a one-point lead.
That one point was followed up by six more from the charity stripe for the Lady Mustangs, while the Lady Panthers were held scoreless the remainder of the game.
Griffith led the Lady Mustangs with 18 points, five rebounds and four steals.
Victoria Jones, who netted three 3-pointers of her own, finished the game with 13 points and five rebounds.
Macon and Kat Alomar both finished with 12 points apiece, with AUM signee Macon racking up 10 assists in the game.
The Lady Mustangs went 18-for-25 at the charity stripe.
Despite having to wait their turn for their chance on the court, Walker Valley coach Bob Williams and his Mustangs can’t complain about the outcome of the night.
“I didn’t know if we’d ever get to play with how long the girls’ game went,” Williams joked.
The Mustangs had their work cut out where the Panthers were concerned, but Williams couldn’t help but be pleased with how his team handled things out on the court.
“They tried to press a little bit and we handled that pretty well. We got the shots we wanted, executed on offense and I thought we ran the floor well,” Williams stated. “We knew that Dylan Brewster was quick and a hard person to guard, but I thought we had decent defensive effort in the first quarter. In transition we were getting beat a little bit. They were getting out on us and we weren’t getting wide enough on them. But overall I’m pleased that we came out here and got the win.”
Walker Valley quickly jumped out in front of Lenoir City once the boys’ game got underway and by the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs had a 22-10 lead over the Panthers.
The teams were almost evenly matched in scoring in the second quarter, with Walker Valley only outscoring Lenoir City 17-16.
The Mustangs added 22 more points in the third quarter, which gave them a 20-point, 61-41 lead over the Panthers.
That 20-point lead wasn’t enough to deter Lenoir City, who was able to go on and score 27 points to Walker Valley’s 18 in the final quarter.
“Lenoir City is one of those teams that you can get up on, but you can’t relax because they can score so quick. They’ve got three or four guys who can shoot 3’s, and they can erase a 20-point lead in a matter of minutes,” Williams said.
Six of the Panthers’ 13 treys came in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs were able to handle the late surge by the home team, coming away with an 11-point win.
Lukas Korn led Walker Valley with 18 points, with Brandon Crews following with 17 points. Crews hit three of the Mustangs four 3-pointers in the game.
Bryce Nunnelly finished the night out with 12 points of his own.
The Mustangs were 11-for-14 at the free-throw line.
Walker Valley will travel to Soddy-Daisy tonight for some District 5-AAA action.
LADY MUSTANGS 67, LADY PANTHERS 60
Walker Valley 10 4 17 12 12 12 — 67
Lenoir City 13 12 10 8 12 5 — 60
Walker Valley (67) — Jaclyn Griffith 18, Victoria Jones 13, Lyndsey Macon 12, Kat Alomar 12, P. Davis 6, Mowery 4, Spann 2, Percy, Patel, Cox, Lay, White, C. Davis.
Lenoir City (60) — Amberlee Zeller 14, Ashlyn Zeller 12, Lindsey Jones 10, McFalls 8, Morris 8, Varner 6, Arnwine 2, Johnson, Bledsoe, Stiles.
3-point goals: WV 7 (Jones 3, P. Davis 2, Alomar, Griffith); LC 7 (Am. Zeller 3, Morris 2, Jones 2).
Records: Walker Valley 12-8, 5-3; Lenoir City 9-12.
MUSTANGS 79, PANTHERS 68
Walker Valley 22 17 22 18 — 79
Lenoir City 10 16 15 27 — 68
Walker Valley (79) — Lukas Korn 18, Brandon Crews 17, Bryce Nunnelly 12, Harwood 9, Herd 6, Williams 6, L. Morrow 4, Melton 3, Hunt 2, C. Melton 2, Swafford, Russell, Jones, Montgomery, Conway.
Lenoir City (68) — Dylan Brewster 23, Joe Pace 13, Josh Pace 11, Tallent 6, Campbell 5, Bingham 3, Hunt 3, Tupts 3, Sharpe, Courtney, Capooth.
3-point goals: WV 4 (Crews 3, L. Melton); LC 13 (Brewster 4, Joe Pace 3, Josh Pace 3, Hunt, Bingham, Tupts).
Records: Walker Valley 13-9, 4-5; Lenoir City 4-10.