The Walker Valley basketball teams tuned up for a tough district games to close out the regular season with a sweep of Howard inside “The Stable” on Senior Night Tuesday at Walker Valley.
The Mustangs closed out the night with a decisive 84-56 win over the Hustlin' Tigers while the Lady Mustangs cakewalked to a 60-3 victory in the opener.
Mustangs 84, Hustlin' Tigers 56: Cash Coates took care of business on Senior Night for the Mustangs (16-8, 6-4) piling in a game-high 22 points in the victory. Senior Hobert Brabson was on target in his last regular season home game at Walker Valley powering in 19 points while teammate Caleb Sausville stretched the strings from 3-point distance five times and ended with 17.
iJacob Milsap paced Howard (3-19, 2-9) with 20 points followed by Jaylen Taylor with 19 and MyQuise Thomas with 10.
“We had a lot of energy. Caleb was hitting, Cash was doing what Cash does and Hobie was solid,” said Mustangs head coach Will Campbell. “Defensively, we gave them some trouble early on, but they started shooting in the second half. In the third quarter No. 24 (Milsap) was getting downhill on us.”
The Tigers pulled out to an early 8-4 lead in the first quarter before Coates lifted ina 2-pointer that ignited a 14-0 run by the Mustangs underscored by 3s from Sausville and Coates from the right wing and top of the key. The outburst put Walker Valley on top 18-8 Coates ended the quarter with a three-point play that gave the Mustangs a 21-13 advantage.
Walker Valley continued to pile in the points as the second quarter opened as Brabson's 3 opened the door to another Mustangs offensive display. Brabson, Coates and Barber combined for 11 points to run the score to 32-13. Walker valley closed out the final three minutes of the half with 11 more markers and headed into halftime with a comfortable 43-23 cushion.
“We played well. We came out with a lot of energy,” said Campbell. “Tayvon (Barber) was sick. He didn't practice yesterday. I didn't really know how he would be, but I thought he really gutted one out. We needed him our there. He settles us down. He's stepped up for us in such a great leadership role for us this year, more than I expected from him. I'm really proud of him.”
After scoring a total of 23 points in the first half, Howard came out growling in the third quarter as Milsap put the Tigers on his shoulders and ripped the nets for 12 of Howard's 19 points. With the Mustangs holding a 63-42 lead to open the final frame, Milsap continued his onslaught with his third 3 to make it a 65-47 game. The Mustangs were able to settle down and reeled off 13 consecutive points that included treys from Caleb Sausville, Isaac Sausville and Coleman Green to put the Mustangs out front 82-49 as the clock ticked down. The Tigers picked up a final 3 late to make it an 84-56 final.
The Mustangs will take the next two days to get ready for a pair of tough district game against Cleveland Friday and next week against Bradley Central Tuesday before closing out the regular season with a non-district tussle with Polk County Thursday.
“Those will be fun ones I'm looking forward to those,” Campbell said. “It would be nice to go into their arenas and compete which is what we're going to try to do. We'll work on that the next two days and see what we can do on Friday.”
Lady Mustangs 60, Lady Tigers 31: The Lady Mustangs were on top of their game for three quarters before stumbling in the final eight minutes, but by then the damage had already been done well enough ensure the Walker Valley girls would close out January on a high note with a solid win over the Howard girls.
The Lady Mustangs played a team game against the Lady Tigers with only one of Drew Lyness' girls reaching double figures. Jalaya finished her night with 10 points.
Two Lady Tigers ended in double figures with Eori Owens and Terrich Knox scoring 10 points apiece.
The Lady Mustangs were exemplary in the ball control department giving up just six turnovers on the night. The Walker valley girls made it difficult for Howard defensively picking the pockets of the Lady Tigers 15 times.
“As a group team effort it was great. It was a good night for our seniors for them to kind of enjoy the moment a little bit more,” said Lady Mustangs head coach Drew Lyness, who emptied his bench early. “We played everybody. We worked on some things offensively. We looked at some different things on the baseline. We're still working on things even though a game like that got out of hand early.”
The Lady Mustangs were on fire early scoring the first 18 points of the game. Howard (4-14, 0-11) broke the shutout with a late basket, but trailed 20-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Elissa Earls and Lindsey found the mark from behind the arc in the second quarter as the Lady Mustangs (13-11, 6-4) added 17 points and led 37-8 at halftime.
Brie Lonas found the bank open with a 3 from the top of the key to put the Lady Mustangs out front 42-12 early in the third quarter. The Lady Tigers found some offense in the period scoring 12 points before the buzzer. Lonas, Lindsey and Madison Bischof made sure advantage stayed with the Lady Mustangs with back-to-back-to-back 3s before the buzzer to put Walker Valley out front 57-20.
Howard turned the tables on the Lady Mustangs in the final quarter scoring 11 straight points against Walker valley as Lyness rotated his lineup emptying the bench. Senior Jenna Gibson scored the only points of the quarter for the Lady Mustangs as she zeroed in from behind the arc with a 3 to cap the night's scoring.
“It's a great win. It's our sixth district win. It's the most we've had since we've been here which is awesome. We're doing some really good things right now. It's our sixth win in a row, so that's fun, said Lyness.”
“It was a good tune-up. We've got two days to try to get ready for Cleveland. We've got Cleveland, Bradley and Polk County. It's winding down, but this past month has been fun. We were really good in January which was good. This makes us something like 8-2 in January. It's been a really good month, but we've got a tough way to finish. The good thing is we're ready for the challenge and we're excited about it. We're ready to get the district tournament rolling here in about three weeks.”
Howard 2 6 12 11 — 31
Walker Valley 20 17 20 3 — 60
Howard (31) — Emori Owens 10, Terrich Knox 10, Montgomery 3, Holloway, Lawery, Lockhart, Bridas, Shumake 4, T. Robinson 4, Gaspr, C. Robinson, Mathis.
Walker Valley (60) — Jalaya Lindsey 10, Pierce 2, Lonas 5, Poe 8, Woods 4, Bishof 8, Sims, Southerland, Earls 5, Worden 2, Cox 8, Gibson 8.
3-point goals: Howard 1 (Montgomery); Walker Valley 9 (Poe 2, Lindsey 2, Bischof, Earls, Cox, Gibson).
Records: Howard 4-14, 0-11; Walker Valley 13-11, 6-4.
Howard 13 10 19 14 — 56
Walker Valley 21 22 20 21 — 84
Howard (56) — Jacob Milsap 20, Jaylen Taylor 19, MyQuise Thomas 10, Holland 3, Beene 2, Dupree.
Walker Valley (84) — Cash Coates 22, Hobert Brabson 19, Caleb Sausville 17, Broadnax 2, Bain 2, G. Campbell, Wallace, Green 3, T. Campbell, I. Sausville 3, Smith 6, B. Campbell 1.
3-point goals: Howard 6 (Taylor 3, Milsap 3); Walker Valley 9 (C. Sausville 5, Barber, Brabson, I. Sausville, Coates).
Records: Howard 3-19, 2-9 ; Walker Valley 16-8, 6-4.