Walker Valley Boys Advance To 3-4A Finals

Mustangs Ride Over McMinn Co., 65-39

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024
  • Richard Roberts

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- It wasn't the first quarter Walker Valley head coach Will Campbell was looking for, but after that had very little to complain about as the Mustangs took over control and kicked the Cherokees areound for three quarters on their way to a 65-39 win in the boys Region 3-4A semifinal Tuesday at Bradley Central. 

The win sets up Walker Valley (21-10) against Bradley in the final Thursday at 7 p.m. The Bears (22-8) earned the right to play for the region title with a 70-44 win over Rhea County in the semifinals opener.

“That's an understatement, a slow start,” said Campbell. “Give McMinn a lot of credit. Their defensive game plan was good. They've got six guys out on that team. They started with three backup guys. They did a really good job of plugging gaps and making it hard for us to get where we wanted. And we missed a lot. We were 2 for 12 from the 3-point line (early). We had some looks we missed, but they (McMinn) did a really good job. I'm going to give them a lot of credit for that slow start.

The Mustangs made up for the slow first quarter with 15 second quarter markers. Clayton Turner Graham Campbell and Cash Coates all contributes treys to put the Mustangs out front 25-13 at halftime.

Coates led the Mustangs with 19 points including three from behind the arc. Clayton ended the night with 13 points and also was good three times from distance. Caleb Sausville also matched Coates and Clayton with three treys on the night.

Defensively, Walker Valley held McMinn's leading scorer, Reese Frazier, to 16 points. Bryson Womac hit double figures for the Cherokees with 11.

“We told them at halftime we got some good looks, we just needed to be a little patient with the ball. It sticks in our head sometimes. Trust your teammates, trust what what we're doing,” said Campbell. “Throughout the course of a 32 minute game it's hard for us not to find somebody to come in and hit it. Caleb Sausville was 0 for 4 or five in the first half then he came in and hit three or four in a row. Turner came in and hit some big ones for us.”

The Mustangs kept the pressure on in the third quarter beginning with an opening 3 from Coates. Sausville, Ashton Davis and Clayton lifted in back-to-back-to back 3s pushing the Walker Valley advantage to 39-25 before heading into the fourth quarter with a 42-25 lead.

The 3s continued to rain from the rafters in the final eight minutes as Clayton, Sausville, and Coates combined for four treys lifting the Mustangs to a 56-30 lead. From there, Campbell handed the keys to his bench who finished out the night with a final three from Eli Bain to put a seal on the victory.

The Mustangs return to work Wednesday getting ready for Thursday's battle with the Bears to determine the region's best.

“That's going to be a fun one. I imagine it will be a good environment in here. It will be a packed house. It's going to be a fun region championship game. We're looking forward to it. We've got out work cutout for us, but hopefully we can put something together and give a little better showing than the last time we played them.”







-- 39







MCMINN COUNTY (39) — Reese Frazier 16, Bryson Womac 11, Gonzalez 5, Harbin 2, Webb 3, Lyle 2, Adams, Mullins, Brown, Moore, Drake.

WALKER VALLEY (65) — Cash Coates 19, Turner Clayton 13, A. Davis 8, G. Campbell 4, Shirk 1, Car. Coates 2, Green 1, Bain 3, Garrison 2, Keeton 3, T. Campbell, Taylor, Smith, Z. Davis, I Sausville.

3-point goals: McMinn County 1 (Webb); Walker Valley 11 (C. Sausville 3, Cas. Coates 3, Clayton 3, A. Davis, Bain.)

Free throws: McMinn County 15-13; Walker Valley 21-10.


(Email Richard Roberts at richardvol55@yahoo.com)

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