Both of the Walker Valley teams left Polk County victorious after Monday night’s games. The Lady Mustangs managed to pull off a 61-55 win against the Wildkittens, while the Mustangs declawed the Wildcats 61-21.
After winning the tip, Walker Valley was outscored by Polk County in the first period by two points.
“It did stay close,” Polk County head coach Johnny Hayes said.
Two Lady Mustangs, Victoria Jones and Peyton Davis, were each able to put up a 3-pointer, while Wildkittens Emily Wilson and Riley Hatcher each hit 3-pointers of their own.
“I felt like we rebounded pretty well on the defensive end. I felt like they were just getting one shot, one opportunity and we were securing some good rebounds,” Hayes explained.
The second period was when the Walker Valley offense really shined, as it outscored Polk County by 10 points, ending the half up 31-23. Davis netted two 3-pointers and Kathleen Alomar also chipped in another 3-pointer.
The Wildkittens came back in the third period to once again outshoot the Lady Mustangs 15-10. It wasn’t enough for the home team to retake a lead as the visitors, thanks to a 3-pointer from Jaclyn Griffith, were able to end the third quarter up 41-38.
“Walker Valley does a good job pressuring the basketball at all times, at half-court and the full court,” Hayes said of the opposing team.
The fourth period was filled with Walker Valley foul shots, which helped to seal the Lady Mustang 61-55 win over the Wildkittens. Lyndsey Macon was 6-for-8 at the charity stripe during the last period.
“We hit some free throws down the stretch. If we don’t hit those free throws, we don’t win the game,” Walker Valley head coach Jessica Stone said.
Despite shooting the ball well, Polk County had 21 turnovers.
“We shot the ball halfway decent, not from the free-throw lin,e unfortunately. That kind of hurt us down the stretch,” Hayes said. “Ultimately the turnovers, when you turn the basketball over several times in a row it gives the other team the opportunity to bump up the score on you real quick”
Point leaders for the Lady Mustangs were Davis with 16 and Macon with 11. The Wildkittens were led by Wilson with 25 points and Hatcher with 11.
Even though her team was victorious, Stone feels there are still many things that need some improvement.
“I didn’t think we played great, but we’re still trying to do some things. Boxing out, we still don’t keep our man in front of us all the time, just little things we need to work on.”
The week has just begun for both teams, as Walker Valley plays Soddy-Daisy at home tonight and hosts Cleveland on Friday. Polk County will journey to McMinn Central on Thursday and hopes to pull an upset over the 20-3 Lady Chargers.
The Wildcats were unable to shake a four-game losing streak as they went up against the Mustangs Monday night.
Polk County was able to keep pace with Walker Valley throughout the first period, and ended it trailing by four points, 13-9.
Logan Melton netted two 3-pointers for the visitors, while Evan Ball notched a 3-pointer for the home team. Devin Weber and Cody Groomes were both 2-for-2 at the free-throw line for the Wildcats. Lukas Korn hit three baskets during the first period for the Mustangs.
During the second period Walker Valley allowed Polk County only one basket. The Wildcats managed to hold the Mustangs back, and allowed them only nine points. Out of those nine points, five came from the charity stripe.
“The first half we weren’t pressing much and Polk County was so patient on the offense, we had to do something different in the second half just to press the issue and get them to run a little bit,” Walker Valley head coach Bob Williams said of his team strategy.
The second half began with the Wildcats trailing the Mustangs 22-11, but all hopes of a comeback win were dashed as the home team was only able to score an additional 10 points.
“We get in our kind of game where we’re running more. We like to run, we don’t like to sit at half-court a whole lot,” Williams stated.
In the third period Walker Valley rushed the net more, adding 20 points to the scoreboard. Jackson Brownfield contributed 10 of those points, along with Tucker Godfrey who had six points, and Caio Hysinger with four.
The fourth period continued to rub salt in the Wildcats wound, as Will Richmond was the sole player to get on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer. The Mustangs utilized their whole bench, and added another 19 points. The majority of those points came from five 3-pointers made by Derice Anthony, Melton, Logan Russell, and two contributed by Brandon Crews.
“It’s nice to have opportunities to put a lot of people in the games,” Williams explained. “I liked where the bench came in and made some shots for us. There was no letdown when we put people in off the bench, so that’s good.”
Walker Valley was led by Brownfield with 12 points, followed by Godfrey with 10. Polk County’s point leader was Ball with five points.
The Mustangs have a full week ahead as they host Soddy-Daisy tonight and the Blue Raiders on Friday night.
The Wildcats will travel to McMinn Central on Thursday.
Walker Valley 12 19 10 20 — 61
Polk County 14 9 15 17 — 55
Walker Valley (61) — Peyton Davis 16, Lyndsey Macon 11, Griffith 9, Jones 8, Mowery 6, Watson 4, Percy 4, Alomar 3.
Polk County (55) — Emily Wilson 25, Riley Hatcher 11, Felecia Johnson 6, Rosa Hayes 6, Rachel Epperson 5, Hannah Withrow 2, Hutcheson, Lillard, Stewart, McClary, Liner.
3-point goals: Walker Valley 8 (P. Davis 4, Jones, Griffith 2, Alomar); Polk County 4 (Wilson 3, Hatcher).
Free throws: Walker Valley 13-of-20; Polk County 7-of-16.
Records: Walker Valley 11-12; Polk County 4-16.
Walker Valley 13 9 20 19 — 61
Polk County 9 2 7 3 — 21
Walker Valley (61)— Jackson Brownfield 12, Tucker Godfrey 10, Melton 9, Crews 8, Korn 6, Hysinger 4, Anthony 3, Russell 3, Swafford 3, Cartwright, Morrow, Hunt.
Polk County (21) — Ball 5, Coffey 4, Groomes 4, Locke 3, Richmond 3, Hutcheson 2, Der. Weber 2, Dev. Weber 2, Keith, Cross.
3-point goals: Walker Valley 7 (Melton 3, Crews 2, Anthony, Russell); Polk County 2 (Ball, Richmond).
Free throws: Walker Valley 8-of-10; Polk County 7-of-10.
Records: Walker Valley 13-9; Polk County 5-17.