The Walker Valley Lady Mustangs launched an all out three-point barrage against their opponents from White County Friday night, winning decisively by a score of 79–64.
Walker Valley’s win came on the coattails of a disappointing 50–49 season opening loss at the hands of the Sevier County Bearettes on Thursday night.
“Our play tonight was drastically different than what we did last night. Tonight we executed in a lot of the areas that we didn’t against Sevier. All in all, we played an all-around strong game,” said head coach Jessica Stone.
The Lady Mustangs opened the game on a torrid pace, putting up 19 points in the first quarter while only holding their opponents to 9.
Continuing her stellar performance from Thursday night, Jaclyn Griffith amassed 12 points in the quarter, including two makes from downtown.
The second quarter saw Walker Valley stress the importance of shooting from behind the three-point line, as seven of the eight Lady Mustangs’ baskets came from behind the arc.
“On the night we made 13 threes in total. Making them is nice when the ball actually goes in. But, we can’t solely rely on them in the future because not making them can kill a team’s chances,” Stone said.
Despite Walker Valley’s sharp shooting, the Warriorettes from White County creeped back into the game and found themselves only seven points down going into halftime, trailing by a score of 38–31.
The third quarter was a series of runs for both of the teams with effective shooting from each of the squads.
The Warriorettes took the queue of the Lady Mustangs throughout the quarter, launching and making four shots from behind the arc.
“They have a couple of good shooters on their team, so our game plan was to let them beat us with their shooting,” Stone said.
Backed by stellar play from Victoria Jones, Peyton Davis and Griffith, Walker Valley was able to put together enough stops to be up 59–47 heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter proved the age-old basketball notion that gets thrown around from time to time saying free throws win games.
“We were huge tonight from the free-throw line, especially in that fourth quarter. If we hadn’t made our free throws there is a great chance we would have lost the game. They were that big,” Stone said.
The star of the fourth quarter was senior Victoria Jones, who scored 13 of her 22 points in the fourth, all the while shooting a perfect 10 for 10 from the charity stripe.
In the end the Warriorettes simply could not overcome the amazing shooting from the Lady Mustangs, as the final score would read 79–64 in Walker Valley’s Favor.
“Tonight’s game was an all-around team effort. There wasn’t just one or two stars in the game. It was team effort,” Stone said.
With their win the Lady Mustangs improved to an even 1–1 record on the season.
WARRIORS 55, MUSTANGS 47
The Walker Valley boys basketball team failed to do what their female Mustang counterparts were able to accomplish against White County, as the boys team fell to the Warriors Friday night.
In a hard fought match, in front of a raucous home crowd, the Mustangs were unable to scrap there way back into the game and came up short by a final score of 55–47.
The first quarter was one of utter dominance by Mustangs Lukas Korn, who put in eight of Walker Valley’s nine quarter points.
As Korn soared however, the rest of the Mustangs were not able to get up and running against the Warriors defense, as White County took a 13–9 lead into the second quarter.
“We couldn’t get anything going on offense, and in the end we settled on way too many three point attempts. In addition, we also couldn’t seem to get the ball inside into the paint, We just settled on jump shots,” head coach Bob Williams said.
The second quarter saw Korn get more help offensively, as a number of Mustangs chipped in key baskets to keep the Warriors in striking balance.
Jacob Herd and Logan Melton provided the must needed scoring boost for Walker Valley, taking the offensive load off of Korn for the time being.
The Mustangs would trail the Warriors heading into halftime by a score of 32–22.
“We did a good job at getting back into the game, and took a lot of the opportunities that were handed to us,” Williams said.
The second quarter proved to be a mirror image of the first two quarters for Walker Valley, as Coach William’s team was able to execute offensively but could not slow down their opponents on defense.
“They were patient and got easy baskets throughout the game, but when they didn’t execute and gave us opportunities we were not able to capitalize on the offensive end of the floor,” Williams said.
Heading into the final quarter of the play the Mustangs were down 43–36, and despite playing stellar basketball and making key shots, could not stem the offensive tide of the Warriors.
Senior Brandon Crews hit two clutch three-point shots at the 52 and 31 seconds marks to bring Walker Valley within four of White County.
After Crews baskets, Williams had to employ a foul strategy and immediately fouled as soon as the ball was inbounded.
But the Warriors effectively threw a wrench into Williams’ plan, as White Valley made four key free throws to ice the game en route to a 55–47 win.
“Overall it’s still early and we are still trying to find our individual strengths and who we are as a team. We are going to sweat a lot this upcoming week and get in the weight room and build up some confidence,” Williams said.
Despite the loss, Coach Williams saw numerous performances to hang his hat on during Friday.
“Korn came up huge for us. He crashed the boards and took the ball hard inside. While Crews hit two huge threes that kept us in the game late, he came up huge for us tonight,” Williams said.
The Mustangs will look to improve and work hard during their off time, and bring their even 1-1 record up above to .500 mark.
WARRIORETTES 64, LADY MUSTANGS 79
White County 9 22 16 17 — 64
Walker Valley 19 19 21 20 — 79
Walker Valley (79) — Jaclyn Griffith 23, Victoria Jones 22, Kathleen Alomar 16, Peyton Davis 9, Lyndsey Macon 7, Emilee Spann 2
WARRIORS 55, MUSTANGS 47
White County 13 19 11 12 — 55
Walker Valley 9 13 14 11 — 47
Walker Valley (47) — Lukas Korn 22, Brandon Crews 10, Logan Melton 5, Jacob Herd 4