Despite having played in Soddy-Daisy Monday night, neither the Mustangs nor the Lady Mustangs seemed to let the back-to-back District 5-AAA action slow them down, as they swept East Hamilton under the rug.
For the Mustangs (15-9, 6-5), who defeated the Trojans 75-53 the day before, things were business as usual in their 75-50 defeat of the Hurricanes (6-18, 3-7).
Walker Valley started out the first quarter with a 12-0 run against East Hamilton.
The Hurricanes’ first two points out of the four they scored in the first quarter came from the charity stripe with 2:02 remaining in the quarter.
With a 16-4 lead going into the second quarter, the Mustangs were able to control much of the quarter, and netted 18 more points.
East Hamilton was able to add 13 points to its total after switching things up on the floor, but was unable to narrow Walker Valley’s lead to anything less than 10 points.
“We came out pretty strong and [our] defense was good in the first half,” Walker Valley head coach Bob Williams said. “They switched in a second group who was real athletic and got back within 10 and I thought we adjusted, took care of the ball and finished it out pretty good.”
The Mustangs led the Hurricanes 34-17 going into the second half.
East Hamilton was able to upstage Walker Valley in the third quarter, outscoring the Mustangs 17-12 by the end of eight minutes.
“East Hamilton is an athletic team and they have a couple good penetrators. I thought we did a good job overall on defense helping each other. We got a little complacent for a bit, but overall I was pleased with their efforts,” Williams stated.
Austin Harwood left the game late in the third quarter following an injury.
Despite the third quarter surge by the Hurricanes, the Mustangs still had a 46-34 lead going into the final quarter.
In the final eight minutes of play, Walker Valley went on to score 29 points to East Hamilton’s 16.
Brandon Crews accounted for 14 of those 29 points, with Lukas Korn chipping in seven points from the free-throw line.
“Brandon (Crews) shot the ball well tonight. Logan Melton did a good job taking care of the ball for us and Austin Harwood was playing good until he got hurt. Bryce Nunnelly came off the bench and was one of our freshman who played really well,” Williams said.
Crews led Walker Valley with 26 points, which included three treys within the span of one minute in the fourth.
Korn finished the night with 23 points, and made 11 of his 17 free-throw attempts.
With another 20-point victory under their belt, the Mustangs have turned their focus to their upcoming senior night against a 21-3 McMinn Central team on Thursday night.
In their previous meeting on Dec. 17, the Chargers were able to top the Mustangs 57-53.
“McMinn Central is having a good year. We’ll have to be ready, it’s going to be a tough one even though we’re at home Thursday,” Williams commented. “This has been a special group who have been with us for four years, except for Brandon who has been here for two. I’m proud to be their coach because they’re not only great basketball players, but are good people too. It makes it fun every day.”
LADY MUSTANGS 47,
LADY HURRICANES 33
The Walker Valley girls got the action started Tuesday evening, against an East Hamilton team that has seen vast improvements as the season has gone on.
“We faced a much-improved East Hamilton team,” Lady Mustangs head coach Jessica Stone said.
The Lady Mustangs started out the game and seemed to rush through their shots, which is something the coaching staff has been working to calm down.
“We have a tendency to force things and settle for the first or second open shot and we’re trying to get them to be more patient,” Stone commented.
The first quarter proved to be a close one, as Walker Valley was only able to come out ahead of East Hamilton 15-12.
The Lady Mustangs made quick work of the Lady Hurricanes in the second quarter, starting things out with a nine-point run.
East Hamilton answered with a six-point run of their own that put them within six points of Walker Valley.
Both teams hit one more two-point field goal before the clock ran out, ending the half with the Lady Mustangs up 26-20.
Walker Valley was able to solidify the game in its favor in the third quarter, when it scored 13 points while holding East Hamilton to just five.
“Defensively I thought they were solid the whole game. We’ve told them that as long as they’re getting things in on the defensive end, you’ll be in every game. I thought our offense got a lot better and took better shots down the stretch,” Stone stated.
The battling teams each added eight more points to the scoreboard before the final eight minutes ran out and the Lady Mustangs took the game by 14 points.
Tennessee Wesleyan signee Victoria Jones led Walker Valley with 16 points, which included a trio of 3-pointers.
Jacklyn Griffith finished the game with 11 points and a 3-pointer of her own.
Looking to the very near future, Coach Stone expects Thursday’s game against the Chargerettes to be an exciting one. In their previous meeting, the Lady Mustangs came away with a 58-55 win in Englewood.
“McMinn Central is well coached and we know that they’ll press us for the whole game. It will be up-tempo and should be exciting,” Stone proclaimed.
Walker Valley finishes the four game stretch Friday at Sequoyah and will have two days to rest up before hosting Cleveland in the Lady Mustangs’ final district game of the season.
East Hamilton 12 8 5 8 — 33
Walker Valley 15 11 13 8 — 47
LADY HURRICANES (33) — Howard 7, Woods 6, Black 6, Petitt 5, Stovalt 4, Caudle 3, Zackary 2, Danton, Zeh, Maston.
LADY MUSTANGS (47) — Victoria Jones 16, Jacklyn Griffith 11, Alomar 9, Macon 6, Mowery 3,P. Davis 2, Percy, Patel, Cox, Spann, Lay, White, C. Davis.
3-POINTERS: WV 4 (Jones 3, Griffith); EH 2 (Petitt, Howard).
FREE THROWS: WV 6-of-10; EH 3-of-3
RECORDS: Walker Valley 16-8, 8-3 District 5-AAA; East Hamilton 4-20, 2-8 District 5-AAA.
East Hamilton 4 13 17 16 — 50
Walker Valley 16 18 12 29 — 75
HURRICANES (50) — Beach 8, Durah 8, Thompson 7, Lowry 7, Sparks 7, Bunton 4, Wright 3, Griffith 3, Jackson 2, Chacko 1, Wingard.
MUSTANGS (75) — Brandon Crews 26, Lukas Korn 23, L. Melton 7, Nunnelly 7, Conway 5, Harwood 5, Swafford 2, Herd, Morrow, Jones, Williams, Hunt, C. Melton, Montgomery.
3-POINTERS: WV 8 (Crews 5, L. Melton, Conway); EH 3 (Thompson, Sparks, Wright).
FREE THROWS: WV 19-of-27; EH 11-of-19
RECORDS: Walker Valley 15-9, 6-5 District 5-AAA; East Hamilton 6-18, 3-7 District 5-AAA.