Unbeaten Walker Valley Rallies Past Silverdale

Lady Mustangs Use Strong Second Half To Hand Lady Seahawks First Loss, 48-42

Monday, November 22, 2021 - by John Hunt
Walker Valley's Elissa Earls (14) puts up a shot against Silverdale Monday afternoon at the Silverdale Center. Earls led the Lady Mustangs with 11 points as they defeated the Lady Seahawks, 48-42, in the inaugural game of the Silverdale Thanksgiving Classic. Chloe Poe (3) is also pictured.
Walker Valley's Elissa Earls (14) puts up a shot against Silverdale Monday afternoon at the Silverdale Center. Earls led the Lady Mustangs with 11 points as they defeated the Lady Seahawks, 48-42, in the inaugural game of the Silverdale Thanksgiving Classic. Chloe Poe (3) is also pictured.
- photo by Dennis Norwood

Drew Lyness has been coaching girls high school basketball for a long time, but he’s never had a team that won their first four games of the season.

He has now as his Walker Valley Lady Mustangs improved to 4-0 on the young season with a  come-from-behind 48-42 victory over the Silverdale Lady Seahawks in the opening game of the Thanksgiving Classic being played at the brand new Silverdale Center Monday afternoon.

It was a battle from the opening tip to the final horn, but the Lady Mustangs were able to make a few adjustments and had a 28-17 scoring advantage in the second half after trailing 25-20 at intermission.

“It was a battle, but that second half was fun as we just had to grind it out,” Lyness said following the game.

“I thought we showed our toughness in the second half as we played two solid quarters of basketball, but we played with more spark and applied a little defensive pressure.  I told them at the half that we had to play together and that was a key, but our energy was good and we made some key buckets at the end,” he added with a smile.

Silverdale also entered the game unbeaten after three games.  Coach Victor Underwood felt like his team’s youthfulness hurt when the game was on the line.

“We were a little short-handed as we only have two players with experience in a game like this,” Underwood began.

“I thought our youth showed, but I was proud of the way we competed.  I thought we played tough, but we just came up a little bit short.  Walker Valley lives and dies by the 3 and shots started falling for them in the second half.

“We missed too many free throws at the end that hurt, but we just need to learn how to finish a close game like this,” he added.

Elissa Earls scored on a layup to open the game for a 2-0 Walker Valley lead, but the Lady Seahawks responded by scoring 16 of the next 21 points and had a comfortable 16-7 lead when the first quarter ended.

Walker Valley got a 3 from Emilee Warden and two free throws from Earls as Walker Valley got within 21-20 with 1:13 left in the second before Tori Gibson scored four straight points to give Silverdale a 25-20 lead at intermission.

Ella Sullivan sank the first of two free throws with 5:58 showing in the third to put Silverdale up 30-24 before the Lady Mustangs went on a 9-0 run in the next two minutes for a 33-30 lead following a short baseline jumper by Madison Bishof with 4:09 showing.

The lead changed hands four more times in the third stanza before a 3 by Chloe Poe with 1:35 put Walker Valley ahead for the last time at 38-36 with one quarter remaining.

Bentlee Stiner scored on a drive from the wing to start the final stanza as Silverdale knotted the score at 38-38, but Bishof converted a three-point play for a 41-38 lead with 4:48 to play and Silverdale never regained the lead.

Earls topped Walker Valley with 11 points while Poe, Bischof and Patel all followed with nine each.

Stiner was tops for Silverdale with a dozen points while Gibson was also in double figures with 11.  Kelsie Johnson finished with nine.

Silverdale also had an unofficial 39-27 advantage in rebounds as Ella Sullivan grabbed 10 for the Lady Seahawks.  Taylor Bledsoe, Stiner, Gibson and Johnson all had six each.  Poe topped Walker Valley with eight boards while Warden claimed six.

Both teams return to action in this tournament on Tuesday with Silverdale taking on Brainerd in the first game at 3:30 and Walker Valley facing CSAS at 6:30.

WALKER VALLEY  7  13  18  10  --  48

SILVERDALE  16  9  11  6  --  42

WALKER VALLEY (48) – Pierce 2, Lonas, Poe 9, Littrell, Harris, Bishof 9, Patel 9, Elissa Earls 11, Warden 5, Watson 3.

SILVERDALE (42) – Bledsoe 3, Bentlee Stiner 12, Sullivan 7, Stinson, Tori Gibson 11, Johnson 9, Hensley.

3-POINT GOALS: Walker Valley 6 (Poe 2, Patel, Earls, Warden, Watson); Silverdale 3 (Bledsoe, Stiner, Johnson).

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)  


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