Despite leading late in the game, the Mustangs fell to a late Chargers surge on the boys’ side of the ball 81-71, and the Lady Mustangs found themselves outsized and outmatched by the perennial state powerhouse Lady Chargerettes, falling 66-43.
Chargers 81, Mustangs 71
A lengthy see-saw battle, aided by more than a few whistles, was the story line as Walker Valley’s boys took the floor to stare down their 5-1 McMinn Central counterparts.
An 18-point first quarter helped the Chargers build a sizable lead, but solid 3-point shooting helped the Mustangs rally in the second quarter to cut the lead to 38-31 going into halftime.
The momentum shift continued through the third quarter as Walker Valley lit up the scoreboard for 24 points while limiting the opposition to just 15. By the end of the period, the Mustangs had taken a tenuous 54-53 lead.
But then, the Chargers turned it on, going on a 9-3 run to open the final quarter. McMinn finished the quarter and cemented the win with solid free throw shooting, going 12-for-17 down the stretch to grab the 81-71 win.
Four Mustangs did post double-digit scoring on the night; Tucker Godfrey netted 15, Logan Melton had 13 and Austin Harwood and Caio Hysinger both put up 11 apiece.
Lady Mustangs 43
It was no less than a performance fit for the 5-1 Chargerettes as they cruised to a 66-43 victory over the Walker Valley Lady Mustangs.
Going back just five years, McMinn Central’s Chargerettes have five trips to the state tourney and a state championship title to their name, a trend they look to continue this season.
Size and experience were on display Tuesday night, and despite its best effort Walker Valley was just unable to make a lasting impact on either side of the floor.
The Lady ’Stangs did find some success in the fourth quarter, hitting a trifecta of threes and holding Central’s attack to just seven points.
Unfortunately, it was just a little too late as the buzzer sounded on a 66-43 final.
Aaliyah Pitner and Jaclyn Griffith led Walker Valley scoring with nine points apiece.
Both Mustang crews are back in action Friday as they host Rhea County for the start of District 5-AAA basketball.