Both Baylor’s boys and girls’ teams put together late-game rallies that threatened to stop the Walker Valley roundballers in their tracks, but when pressed to it, both Mustang squads were shocked back into life and came away with victories. The Lady Mustangs took their game 60-53, while the boys won 51-46.
Lady Mustangs 60,
Lady Red Raiders 53
Walker Valley’s Lady Mustangs had their hands full with the Baylor Lady Red Raiders Tuesday night. The two teams traded the lead eight times during the first quarter of play, with Baylor coming away with a 12-11 advantage.
Then it started raining 3s. The Lady Mustangs started dropping bombs from beyond the arch, notching six 3-pointers in the second quarter alone.
Draining long-balls allowed Walker Valley to turn up the pace of the game and had Baylor visibly off kilter as the run-and-gun style took effect.
Victoria Jones capped the breakout quarter with a buzz-beating triple to send the teams into the half with a 34-26 advantage.
“We knew we were going to have to play small and fast. Getting the ball and going is what I’ve been trying to get them to do the whole year. We made better decisions tonight and limited our turnovers. We took care of the ball better. I would love it if we played like this every night,” expressed Lady Mustang head coach Jessica Stone.
The 3-point line might have defined the first half, but the second half revolved around the charity strip.
Baylor grabbed an early technical foul and had amassed eight personal fouls with a minute and a half left to play in the third quarter, sending the Lady Mustangs to the line early and often.
Yet, just over 50-percent shooting from the charity stripe left valuable points on the floor, and perhaps more importantly, it shifted the pace of play.
With the third quarter coming to an end, the Lady Red Raiders scored the period’s last eight points of the quarter to cut the lead to 43-40.
Fourth-quarter action got off to a similar start with Baylor’s girls notching the first five points to give the squad their first lead since the first quarter.
But, instead of letting the shift in momentum be the nail in their coffin, the Lady Mustangs rallied, going on a 17-8 run to close out the game and grab the win.
“I think we were 2-for-10 in the second half from 3-point land. It was just really good to see us not put our head down when things aren’t going our way. There are still plenty of things to take out of this to improve upon, but I liked the effort and communication I saw out there tonight,” Stone said.
Leading scoring for Walker Valley’s girls was Rebecca Beavers with 11 points. Jaclyn Griffith put 10 on the board.
Red Raiders 46
Playing Baylor always presents and interesting challenge for the speedy Walker Valley Mustangs. The slow and methodical play of the Red Raiders forces their opponents into low-scoring slogs that have the very real potential of throwing their opponents off their game.
“Last year, the score was low too. That’s just the way Baylor plays. Their offense is so patient. They’ll run the offense for 30-45 seconds. We don’t want to play that way, but they make you play that way. But, that’s why we like playing them. It forces us to adapt and we have to see and play a style that’s a little uncomfortable for us,” explained head coach Bob Williams.
Play was neck-and-neck through the first quarter. Senior point guard Caio Hysinger stole the lead and what little momentum was on the floor with a buzzer-beating trey to give the Mustangs a 13-11 lead.
Second quarter play was the afore-mentioned slog. Neither squad broke double-digit scoring, but the Mustangs were able to gain a little firmer foothold on the lead, going into the half with a 22-16 advantage.
When play resumed, Walker Valley once again held their opponents to single digits (seven points) while netting 14 of their own to grab their biggest lead of the game, 13 points.
Then someone somewhere flipped a switch causing the normally methodical Red Raiders to go on a 16-2 tear to start the fourth. Baylor not only took the lead, but also left everyone in “Mustang Country” scratching his or her head.
Chants of “Walker Valley” filled the gym as a wide-open game turned into a nail-biter within minutes. Luckily, the Mustang fans were rewarded with home rally that allowed their team to escape with the 51-46 victory.
“Down the stretch, we were playing not to loose instead of playing to win. We quit attacking. When we started attacking again we started scoring again. We had too much time left to put on the breaks,” said Williams.
Hysinger led his team with 20 points. Lukas Korn contributed 13, and Tucker Godfrey netted 10.
Both Mustang fans retake the floor Friday night as they travel to Soddy-Daisy for a District 5-AAA showdown against the Trojans.
Baylor 12 14 14 13 — 53
Walker Valley 11 23 9 17 — 60
LADY RED RAIDERS — Clemons 20, Kaufman 12, Carter 4, Simpkins 5, Hubert 8, Hackabay 4.
LADY MUSTANGS — Rebecca Beavers 11, Jaclyn Griffith 10, Jones 6, Percy 6, Piner 8, Davis 6, Macon 9. Watson 4.
3-POINTERS: Baylor 3 (Clemons 3); Walker Valley 9 (Beavers 3, Pitner 2, Jones, Griffith 2, Davis).
FREE THROWS: Baylor 5-of-10; Walker Valley 17-of-29.
RECORDS: Baylor 1-5; Walker Valley 4-7.
Baylor 11 5 7 23 — 46
Walker Valley 13 9 14 15 — 51
RED RAIDERS — Jeff Bowens 18, Matt Clendeng 10, Born 5, Lupas 4, Seaberg 7, Upshaw 2.
MUSTANGS — Caio Hysinger 20, Lukas Korn 13, Tucker Godfrey 10, Harwood 2, Morrow 2, Swafford 3, Brownfield.
3-POINTERS: Baylor 0; Walker Valley 3 (Hysinger 3).
FREE THROWS: Baylor 15-of-21; Walker Valley 10-of-21.
RECORDS: Walker Valley 7-4.