Walker Valley Tames Bears In Overtime Win, 47-43

Bradley Central Girls Dominate Lady Mustangs, 74-17

  • Tuesday, February 7, 2023
  • Richard Roberts

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Thirty-two minutes was not enough to decide a winner between the Bradley Central and Walker Valley boys. It took an extra four to determine who gets late season bragging rights between the Bears and Mustangs.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Mustangs proved to be the better team Tuesday with a 47-44 win inside “The Jim” at Bradley Central.

The Bradley girls came out with sharpened claws swinging in the night's opener as every thing went right for the Bearettes as the raced to a 23-2 first quarter lead and skated to a 74-17 win over the Lady Mustangs.

The Mustangs scored just three points in overtime, but managed to hold the Bears to zero points to improve to 17-9 and 7-5 in District 5-4A basketball with one more regular season, non-district, game to go before tournament time.

The win over Bradley will not affect the final district standings as the Bears (17-5, 8-4) will still be the third seed.

“I hope we can carry that momentum into Thursday and into the tournament,” said Mustangs head coach Will Campbell. “It's a good win for us, not just because it was Bradley. It doesn't affect anything seeding-wise, but mentally I think we needed this. We have Polk County Thursday at out place.”

Cash Coates had another big night for the Mustangs with a game-high 19 points. Tayvon Barber reached double figures with 10.

Caiden Botts led the Bears with 14 points followed by Dee Reid with 12.

“It was a hard-fought game. It stings a little bit knowing you could control it,” said Bears leader Zach Carpenter. “If we just step up and make free throws our we don't have as many turnovers as we did, maybe it's a different ballgame.”

On the night, the Bears were just 1 for 9 from the line while the Mustangs dropped in 16 of 19.

After a low scoring first quarter that saw Bradley score 12 points to Walker Valley's six the trend continued in the second. The Bears led 19-11 with just under three minutes left in the half, but the Mustangs rallied to score the final eight points of the quarter tying the game at 19-19 at halftime.

Walker Valley opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run to move out front 26-19. The Bears fought back with six unanswered points to tine the score at 28-28. Coates finished the quarter with four straight free throws to give the Mustang a slim 32-30 advantage to begin the third quarter.

The Bears caught fire early in the fourth pouring in nine points while holding the Mustangs to zero while building a 39-32 lead. Barber cut it to 42-38 with a three-point play with 3:33 on the clock. Reid mad it a 44-39 game with just over two minutes left, but the Mustangs got a 2-pointer by Hobert Brabson and got points from the line by Barber and Coates to send the game into overtime.

Points were hard to come by in the final four minutes as defense and missed shots ruled. Coates tossed in the back end of a two shot technical foul with 49 seconds to go. After a Walker Valley time out, Brabson stepped to the line and bottomed a pair of free tosses with 21 ticks on the clock. The Bears had a final chance after a missed 3-point shot by Bradley went out of bounds after touching a Mustang. The Bears called a final time out with two seconds left on overtime, but the desperation shot missed the mark and the Mustangs claimed the victory.

“I thought our guys played hard. We just didn't execute down the stretch like we should have,” said Carpenter. “You always want to have momentum headed down the stretch. We have to put this behind us.”

Th Bears host McMinn Central Friday in a final regular season matchup. The Mustangs host Polk County inside “The Stable” Thursday.

“I was proud of how we responded out of that timeout down 39-32,” said Campbell. “I called the timeout, I thought we were panicking a little bit. We were unraveling a bit. It's something we've done all season in games like this. It's gotten to the point to where we needed to make some plays and we didn't make those plays. I wanted to calm us down there. I know we're capable, it's just we have to learn we can do it in those moments. I think tonight was a big step ahead in that direction.”

Bearettes 74, Lady Mustangs 17: It was obvious from the opening tip the Bearettes were out to show they are the Bearettes after playing a less than standard game against the Walker Valley girls in their first meeting.

Harmonie Ware lead the Bradley girls in scoring with 18 points followed closely by Avary Brewer with 16. Hannah Jones also reach double figures with 12 points while Kimora Fields completed the foursome with 10.

“I don't really have anything to complain about. We shot the ball well, we defended well. I think Walker Valley is better than we probably made them look,” said Bearettes head coach Jason Reuter. “I don't think we played the best ball up there (Walker Valley). Tonight, I think we had more to give than what they did. I think they ran into a buzzsaw and we've got a team playing at home, Pink Out Night, a big crowd, it's just a tough place to play and our kids were locked in on defense. You give up 17 points, and that's playing all 12 girls.”

The Lady Mustangs (13-13, 6-6) who have been playing their best basketball of the season in recent weeks were unable to get anything going offensively early and were held in check by Bradley's smothering defense. The Bearettes (25-1, 12-0) led 23-2 after the first quarter.

It got no better for Walker Valley in the second eight minutes as the Bearettes added 24 more while holding the Lady Mustangs to just six points to walk in to the half with a 46-8 lead.

“It wan't fun from beginning to end. It was disappointing,” said Lady Mustangs coach Drew Lyness. “We played so well lately and we come down here and did not play well in pretty much any area of the game.”

The Bearettes forced 30 turnovers from the Lady Mustangs while just committing nine giveaways over the course of the game.

“We probably had a couple of brain cramp turnovers. We still only had nine, but I still want us to be perfect knowing I'll never get it. I'm looking for perfection and it's impossible,” said Reuter. “I tell the girls if they get close then they are going to win and if they don't get close then they are going to lose. Just a few really silly turnovers and maybe missed a few bunnies.”

The third and fourth quarters were mere repeats of the first half as the Bearettes pushed to a 60-15 lead at the end of the third before adding a final 14 points in the fourth to close out the night.

“The thing I'm most proud about is we shared the basketball. You want to see team basketball not individual. I couldn't be any prouder of their effort. Their defense was superior. We had nine turn overs, we forced 30,” Rueter said.

“We ran our press pretty much to perfection without fouling. But we've got to be careful. Now we've got McMinn Central coming in. That's the game we are going to be measuring our improvement since we played over there.”

The Bearettes will be looking to avenge a loss to the Chargerettes Friday.

The Lady Mustangs will regroup and go against Polk County Thursday.

“We turned the ball over way too much. We had 19 turnovers in the first half, in 16 minutes that's more than a turnover a minute in the first half which is bad. They pressured us and we did not do well with the pressure,” said disappointed Lyness. “We missed a ton of shots when we had the opportunities. We forced things that weren't there. We didn't battle for rebounds. There was a lot of things that just didn't go our way from beginning to end.”

"We tried to challenge them at halftime to fight a little bit, just respond. We have one game left before the district tournament and hopefully we get to see them again.”

Girls Summary

WALKER VALLEY 2 6 7 2 — 17

BRADLEY CENTRAL 23 23 14 14 — 74

WALKER VALLEY (17) — Poe, Bischof 4, Earls 2, Cox 1, Lindsey 1, Woods 4, Pierce, Worden 5, Southerland, Gibson, Sims.

BRADLEY CENTRAL (74) — Harmonie War 18, Avary Brewer 16, Hannah Jones 12, Kimora Fields 10, Carpenter 5, Wilcox, Swick 6, Francis 2, White, Howard 1, Osborn, Geren 4.

3-point goals: Walker Valley 1 (Worden); Bradley Central 8 (Brewer 3, Ware 2, Swick 2, Carpenter).

Records: Walker Valley 13-13, 6-6; Bradley Central 25-1, 12-0.

Boys Summary

WALKER VALLEY 6 13 13 12 3 — 47

BRADLEY CENTRAL 12 7 11 14 0 — 44

WALKER VALEY (47) — Cash Coates 19, Tayvon Barber 10, Brabson 8, Sausville 5, B. Campbell 2, Smith, G. Campbell 3.

BRADLEY CENTRAL(44) — Caiden Botts 14, Dee Reid 12, Carpenter 5, Taylor 3, Ary 8, Daniel 2, Kirkpatrick, Martin.

3-point goals: Walker Valley 3 (Sausville, Coates, G. Campbell; Bradley Central 5 (Botts 3, Carpenter, Taylor).

Records: Walker Valley 17-9, 7-5; Bradley Central 17-5, 8-4.

(Email Richard Roberts at richardvols55@yahoo.com)

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