Warriors smack down Volunteer

By Jeff Birchfield

   Using a page out of history, Happy Valley enacted the "Marshall Plan," double-teaming Volunteer's Ryan Marshall to take a 66-55 win over the visiting Falcons at Bayless Gym.
   The Falcons' big gun still ended up with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but seven of his points were as the clock was winding down in the fourth quarter.
   "Marshall is their boy," said Bayless. "He hurt us real bad down there (at Volunteer) and we had to stop him."
   Said Falcon head coach Todd Whittimore, "When other guys can score, that doesn't allow double teams. They did a good job on Marshall, but we couldn't get other guys to score tonight. Ryan Marshall is a big part of this team, but he's not the team.
   "Other guys can score, but our supporting cast didn't step up and do it tonight. When that happens, the double team becomes very effective. Coach Bayless' strategy worked and they got a good win."
   On the other side, Happy Valley had three players reach double figures led by Tim Whaley with a game-high 22 points and nine boards. "They were saying how Marshall was the big man, so I had to do all I could on defense," said Whaley. "The 22 points, I just got some trash coming from the boards. We passed good and played team ball and got the buckets.
   "There was some good passing. Andy Hilton, Lamar (Rollins), Chris (Campbell) and everybody had some good assists. We needed this game real bad. We still have a chance at finishing in fourth place (in the Watauga Conference). We just have to play our hearts out."
   Campbell had 17 points for the Tribe, Adam Smith added 10 and Cody Cannon just missed being a fourth player in double digits as he tallied eight.
   This game marked a turnaround for HV, who lost at Volunteer two weeks ago after committing 26 turnovers. This night it was the Falcons, who had trouble maintaining possession, turning the ball over 27 times.
   "We took care of it a little better," said Bayless. "I thought we made some good plays getting the ball down in transition under the basket. We still aren't handling the ball real well. Whaley did a good job underneath and they (Volunteer) missed some real good shots."
   Happy Valley (4-8, 6-12) made up for their last two offensive performances, where they hit a sparse 20 field goals in two games against Johnson County and Elizabethton.
   "We scored the crucial times when we needed," said Bayless. "We went ahead about 12 points and made enough foul shots when we needed to."
   On this night, it was the Falcons who were experiencing shooting woes, going cold from the outside. "We're not a three-point shooting team," admitted Whittimore. "Sometimes when you win a couple of games in a row, you think you're a little better than what you are. I think that's what happened tonight.
   "Our strategy was to go inside and then out, but we came in here and thought we could jack threes and everything would be all right. That's not going to get you three wins in a row. Coach Bayless is one of my idols. I look up to him and try to learn from him everytime I'm around him. He got the most from his talent tonight."
   Zach Bailey and Josh Carr each had eight points and Andrew Nelms scored seven for Volunteer, who fell to (5-5, 13-11) on the season. Next for the Falcons is a date with Hampton, while the Warriors travel to Sullivan North on Friday night.
Volunteer 55, Happy Valley 49 (Girls)

   Despite a gallant comeback attempt, disappointment continued for the Lady Warriors (1-10, 3-17) in their Watauga Conference loss to the Lady Falcons (7-4, 14-7).
   After roaring back from a 12-0 deficit to start the game and taking a 32-30 lead at the half, it looked like HV's streak of 11 consecutive losses might finally end.
   "We got off to a slow start, but we battled back," said Happy Valley head coach Ben Godsey. "Early on in the year, I think we would have folded at that point. But, we battled back and had a good first half after that."
   Ten players all had part in the Lady Warrior rally. Using several different combinations it was Kandra Roberts, Whitney Crowe, Brandi Dugger, Mandy Byrd, Terra Whaley, Brandi Morgan, Amy Clark, Lauren Hollowell, Alicia Dick and Crystal Nave all playing with great intensity.
   However, Volunteer started to take charge midway through the third quarter. Sarah Mullins' bucket gave the Lady Falcons a 44-37 edge at the end of three quarters.
   Happy Valley put together one last rally with Morgan's bank shot cutting the lead to 50-47. After a Lady Warrior foul, Megan Arnold downed both ends of a one and one to ice the game for Volunteer.
   "Our girls did not play good defense in the first half," said Falcon head coach Dennis Anderson. "In the second half, the girls started executing the defense we had designed for them. That's the one thing that most affected the outcome, we started executing."
   Dugger was the Lady Warriors' leading scorer with 18 points, while Roberts threw in 16. "We were just trying our hardest," said Dugger. "We've been losing, but we're not going to give up. It's tough, but, it's going to get better. I think better days will be coming tournament time."
   Arnold scored 15 points and Joy Dobbs added 13 to spur the Lady Falcons to the victory.
   Volunteer did an effective job controlling the glass, grabbing seven more rebounds and making six more put-back baskets in the win. "Our girls go to the hole," said Anderson. "I've got senior post girls and if you don't block them out, they go to the hole."
   Added Godsey, "We didn't rebound well. We just have to get tougher, because we aren't very tough right now. Those second shots killed us. One of those days, we will understand if we box out and rebound, we may win a ballgame."