Junior Warriors get past Comets

from staff reports

   The first quarter proved to be the decision-maker during Thursday's middle school basketball game between Happy Valley and Central.
   Outscoring the Comets by 10 points in the opening stanza, the Junior Warriors went on to win the contest by a 55-48 score.
   In girls action, the Lady Junior Warriors captured a convincing 51-21 victory.
   Happy Valley got the upper hand early by using its quickness in the press to force some turnovers, which led to early scoring.
   The Junior Warriors pushed their lead to 19 points, but a strong push by Central just before halftime cut the lead to 12 (33-21).
   Central came out in the third quarter determined to get back in the game, outscoring the foul-prone Warriors by six (15-9).
   Leading by a close margin throughout the fourth quarter, Happy Valley registered its first win of the season with some clutch free-throw shooting by Todd Caldwell and key buckets by Ricky Morgan and Drew Davis.
   Davis was high man for the Warriors with 14 points, while Ryan May had a solid effort of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Sims came off the bench with a nice contribution, scoring eight.
   Chris Rutledge had the big hand for the Comets, leading them with 21 points. Sammy Maricle chipped in nine.
   Central coach Lamont Barnett was pleased with his team's showing, saying: "It showed a lot of team character to get down early and come back in the second half."
   Happy Valley coach Rik Anderson stated: "They (Central) are a very good team. I was impressed with the aggressiveness of their players and the heart they showed by not giving up when they easily could have in the first half.
   "We have to do a better job of keeping the pressure on a good team and staying out of foul trouble. The season has just started and the players are trying to learn what I want them to do. They are a great group of young men and I think in time can be a pretty good basketball team."
   Happy Valley's next game is on Monday at T.A. Dugger, with the girls games at 4 and 5 p.m., followed by the boys tilts at 6 and 7.
   Lady Junior Warriors 51
   Lady Comets 21
   Happy Valley jumped out to an eight-point first-quarter lead and never looked back.
   Executing an aggressive press, the Lady Warriors were able to build a 9-point halftime advantage.
   Central's chance of a comeback was put to rest with a 17-5 output by the Lady Warriors in the third stanza.
   The Lady Comets got a good second-half performance by Simpson, who scored six of her game-high eight points in the half.
   Happy Valley spread the scoring among 10 players, with Randi Williams leading the way with 10. Samantha Raines added eight points as each Lady Warrior saw action in their first game of the new campaign.
   Central was topped by Simpson with eight.