Ooltewah Beats Walker Valley In Suspended Game From Dec. 6

Owls' Get Career-High 19 Points From Johnson In 65-57 Victory

Saturday, January 4, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Now that was a little weird.

Walker Valley and Ooltewah started a District 5-AAA basketball game back on Dec. 6.

They finished it Saturday – two days shy of a month after it began.

When James Naismith invented the game and it was played outdoors weather may have caused more than a few suspended games that were picked up at a later date. Last month the game was suspended when condensation on a warm December night on the Edward M. Foster Gymnasium court caused problems for both teams.

Saturday’s completion – the game was picked up with Ooltewah holding an 18-6 lead with 2:32 left in the first quarter – went off without a hitch.

The Owls built an 11-point lead early in the fourth period, fought off a Walker Valley rally and held on for a 65-57 victory despite missing 6 of 8 free throws in the final 38.9 seconds.

“It felt a lot strange,” Ooltewah coach Andre “Tank” Montgomery said of the pick-up start at 3:30 p.m. on a Saturday. “In my years of playing and coaching I’ve never had a game suspended and picked up with two minutes left in the first quarter.

“It was different.”

There was another oddity.

Ooltewah senior Ben Snider scored two points on Dec. 6, but didn’t play Saturday due to suffering a broken middle finger on his right hand when a car trunk lid was slammed on it. He’ll miss two or three games.

“It happened two days ago,” Snider said. “It’s broken in two places and I’ve got stitches. I get the stitches out next Friday and I think I can play again. The doctor said it will take a couple of weeks to completely heal.”

Snider was thrilled to see his teammates take care of business with him dressed in street clothes and sitting on the sideline.

“People think I’m the main part of the team, but it shows we can get it done without me,” Snider said. “As bad as I wanted to play I’m glad they got the win without me.”

Junior Jarek Boyd scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Owls (9-5, 2-1) with 19 points and was joined in double figures by three teammates. Jaymcal Johnson had 13 points and Ron King and C.J. Fritz each scored 12 – all three are seniors.

Walker Valley (8-6, 2-2) got a team-high 19 points, including four 3s, from Brandon Crews while Austin Harwood scored 14 and Logan Melton added 11. All three are seniors.

The first quarter ended with Johnson hitting a 3 with 0.2 seconds left on the clock and the Owls had a 22-16 lead. Crews had made a 3 19 seconds earlier.

The Owls’ lead was still six points (29-23) in the second period, but Ooltewah outscored Walker Valley 9-4 down the stretch, including Johnson’s 3 at the halftime buzzer.

“We had to make some adjustments because at the beginning it didn’t feel like a real game,” Johnson said. “Once we got going we picked it up and felt OK.”

Early in the third quarter Ooltewah built its biggest lead at 42-31 when Fritz dropped in a running back shot high off the backboard with 5:51 left in the period.

Crews hit a 3 and Dustin Swafford made a field goal and the Mustangs trailed 42-36.

Johnson answered with a bucket and Fritz canned two free throws, pushing the Owls lead up to 46-36.

Ooltewah caused Walker Valley problems with offensive rebounding and its patented transition game. While the Mustangs did better against the fast-moving Owls’ transition attack but couldn’t solve their rebounding advantage.

“That’s one of the biggest things we’ve got to fix,” Walker Valley coach Bob Williams said.

Ooltewah closed the third period with a Dajuonta Ross tip-in with 22.4 seconds left and started the fourth quarter with a Ron King fastbreak layup for a 52-41 lead.

The Mustangs went on a 12-4 run and closed within 58-53 – Harwood started and ended the spree with layups.

Johnson, who was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line, dropped in two charity tosses to end the Owls’ short dry spell. Walker Valley’s Lucas Korn and the Owls’ King each made one free throw and Ooltewah’s lead was still five points (59-54).

Ross followed King’s miss with a tap-in and Fritz made two free throws to give the Owls a 63-54 advantage with 62 seconds remaining. Fritz went 8 of 10 from the stripe.

Harwood hit the first of two free throws and followed his miss on the second attempt with a rebound and field goal at the 48.5-second mark as the Mustangs climbed to within 63-57.

Ooltewah missed 6 of 8 free throws – Johnson hit two with 26.7 seconds on the clock – over the final 38.9 seconds, but Harwood’s field goal was the final time Walker Valley scored down the stretch.

“That says we’re learning,” Montgomery said of his team holding off the Mustangs in the final minutes. “We’ve had those leads before. Considering we had a starter out with a broken finger and two starters (King and Boyd) fouled out, we held on to keep the lead at eight points and that was pretty good of the boys.

“There at the end we had the right people wanting the ball, but we still missed six free throws and that’s been our Achilles heel. We’ve got to knock them down when they count.”

The Owls hit 21 of 32 free throws – Boyd made 7 of 8. The Mustangs went 12 of 17 from the charity stripe.

SUMMARY

Walker Valley                        16 11 14 16 – 57

Ooltewah                               22 16 12 15 – 65

Walker Valley (57) – Logan Melton 11, Austin Harwood 14, Korn 9, Brandon Crews 19, Swafford 4, Russell, Jones, Morrow.

Ooltewah (65) – Jaymcal Johnson 13, Jarek Boyd 19, Ron King 12, Snider 2, C.J. Fritz 12, Ross 6, Montgomery, Freeman, Cothran.

3-Point Goals: Walker Valley 5 (Crews 4, Milton); Ooltewah 3 (Johnson 2, King).

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)


Dalton Basketball Signs Savannah Star

Dalton State Coach Tony Ingle has announced the first step in the reloading process as he looks to replace four starters and even more key contributors from last season’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Championship team. The Roadrunners looked to Savannah and came away with Malik King. The 6’5” scoring guard for Windsor Forest High School led Region 4-AAAA ... (click for more)

Southern League Names Miguel Sano Player Of The Week

The Southern League has announced that Chattanooga Lookouts’ third baseman Miguel Sano has been named its Player of the Week for June 22 – June 28. Producing a four-game stretch that most players would gladly take over a full week, Miguel Sano led the league with seven runs, 10 hits, seven extra-base hits, 21 total bases, five doubles and tied for the league-lead with seven ... (click for more)

President Of Realtor Association And Family Were Starting On Vacation When They Were Caught In Deadly Wreck

The president of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors was starting out on vacation with his wife, Tina, and their two children when they got caught up in last Thursday’s deadly crash along I-75.   Six people were killed and six others injured.   The Close family, including children ages six and 12, was able to escape injury.   They ... (click for more)

Athens, Tn., Doctor, Wife, Daughter Die In Crash Of Small Plane That Hit House Near Boston

An Athens,Tn., physician, his wife and college-age daughter died Sunday evening in the crash of a small plane that struck a house 30 miles southwest of Boston on Sunday evening. The victims were Dr. Joseph Rick Kalister, the emergency room director at Starr Regional Medical Center's Athens campus, wife, Betty, and their daughter. The doctor and his wife were en route for a ... (click for more)

Six Commissioners Owe Us An Explanation - And Response (2)

Two-thirds of the Hamilton County Commission owe us an explanation as to why they feel it appropriate to take $900,000 of our money out of savings to spend on whatever suits their fancy, oversight be darned.  Those six commissioners are: Randy Fairbanks (D-1), Jim Fields (D-2), Warren Mackey (D-4), Sabrena Turner-Smedley (D-7), Tim Boyd (D-8), and Chester Bankston (D-9).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mr. Murray’s Great Note

In the last several days I have received hundreds of emails after I took a stand for General Nathan Beford Forrest, the South’s rich history, and the indelible fact the War Between The States is still a big part of who were are and what we have become. For the record, as of late yesterday afternoon, I have not heard from one dissenter, although I know there are some who I believe ... (click for more)