Jr. Warriors take thriller over 'Dogs

By Wes Holtsclaw


   It as a 'Wild West Shootout' over at Snavely Gym on Monday night, when Hampton took Happy Valley the distance, forcing two overtimes. But when the smoke had cleared, the Warriors remained to take a 45-40 win in the Jr. High district tourney.
   "It was a great game," said Happy Valley coach Rik Anderson. "It wasn't a great game as far as execution and things like that. The key is that both teams played their hearts out on the floor.
   "It's a big win for us, but at tournament time it doesn't have to be pretty. You just want to win and advance. There is a lot of things we need to do better. But if you win at this point, that's all that matters."
   Hampton went up first with a big three-point shot from Alex Ingram, but Happy Valley came back to take a 7-5 lead behind the power play of Ricky Morgan and Todd Caldwell.
   The second quarter was the same, but reversed as Jon Potter helped blast a Hampton run that led to a 15-14 Hampton lead at the half.
   It was the Warriors' turn in the third quarter as Drew Davis and Caldwell knocked down two 3-pointers apiece to help HV take a 28-24 lead over the Bulldogs.
   The 'Dogs wouldn't rest for long as Cody Scalf's big three-point play helped send the game in overtime at 33-33.
   The first overtime would be just like the previous four quarters, with Caldwell nailing down three points and a Hampton comeback to tie it up again at 36-36.
   Big shots from Drew Davis and a game-clinching throw up from Caldwell gave Happy Valley the 45-44 win in two overtimes.
   "We had every chance in the world to win," said Hampton coach Leon Tolley. "They just got the hustle plays there at the end, and that's what decides ballgames. They laid it all out on the line tonight. I'm as proud of them as any team I have ever had."
   Drew Davis led all scores with 16 for Happy Valley. Morgan and Caldwell had 11 and 13 respectively.
   Happy Valley 35
   Johnson County 30
   With a tight game in the balance, Amber Duncan stepped up to the plate and delivered. Scoring nine of her game-high 15 points to help Happy Valley take a tight one over Johnson County with a close 35-30 win.
   "I'm just tickled to death, these girls played their butts off," said Happy valley coach Dana Hill. "That's all we can ask here at tournament time. We've been working hard all year to get to this point, and Amber stepped up big in the fourth quarter. That's what we have asked of her all year and she rose to the occasion."
   "It was a team effort, we rebounded well, and made some shots that counted so it was a great team win."
   "We played really good," said Amber Duncan, "We played as a team, we did a great job passing, better than we have been. We play Cloudland next, we've lost to them twice this year but we've played hard. I think if we played like we did tonight we can hang with them."
   Johnson County came out strong in the first quarter led by April McCloud and Ryann Tillman to go up against some strong play from Duncan, giving Johnson County a 7-4 lead.
   Happy Valley came out as a team in the third quarter with some big shots from Shanna Raines to help take a lead it would never give up.
   It got tight in the fourth quarter, but some great moves from Duncan powered Happy Valley to the win.
   Hunter 59
   Johnson Co. 37
   Charles Peters led the Hunter Tigers with 25 points and 24 rebounds in a big win over the Johnson County Longhorns.
   "We played hard," said Peters. "We knew this was the last game we could have, so we stepped it up here tonight. We need to work on some boxing out and we will be ready for our next games."
   Hunter powered it out all night, behind the play of Josh Lowe (10 points) and Peters. Nathan Paisley added 10 points for Johnson County.
   Cloudland 37
   Hunter 24
   It was tight territory for the Cloudland girls, as they squeaked by a tough Hunter team to take a 31-24 win Monday afternoon.
   "We quit rebounding and didn't get many shots tonight," said Cloudland coach Mike Lunsford. "Their big kid in the middle (Jordan Muratore) played better tonight than anybody we have. We just outscored them."
   Muratore had 11 points for Hunter tonight, and Jessica Ledford led all scores with 12 for Cloudland.