Junior Warriors get past Comets

By Ivan Sanders

   Comets were spotted over Warrior Hill Thursday night, but the only thing that was sparkling at the end of the battle between the two Happy Valley feeder programs were the Jr. Warrior boys and girls basketball teams.
   The Jr. Warrior boys withstood a tremendous rally in the fourth quarter by the Central Comets to take a narrow 35-26 victory at Happy Valley Middle School.
   Paced by Brandon Whitehead's 11 points and Tony Carr's 8 points coming off the Warrior bench, HV ran its season record to an unblemished 2-0 mark.
   "We don't have any real star players, we just rely on all 10 guys contributing for us to be effective," stated Warrior coach Rik Anderson. "Coming into the game we knew it was going to be a struggle because Lamont Barnett always has a heck of a team at Central."
   A struggle it was as Central's defense forced the Jr. Warriors into a total of 22 turnovers on the night, but Central's problem was not defense, it was offense.
   "Our kids were ice cold and just could never catch fire," said Barnett after the game. "Defensively we played well and hustled all over. We just really held their big men down."
   Jordan Lewis showed the way for Central with 8, with teammate Nick Sanders tossing in 6. The Moore's, Matt and Josh, matched each other with points as well as last names with 4.
   Other contributors for the Jr. Warriors were Brandon McCloud with 6 and Frank Donoho with 4.
   "We did commit a lot of turnovers, but that is a result of our up-tempo game," stated Anderson. "We're young and still learning, so we will be all right."
   Happy Valley 54
   Central 28
   Central's girls gave a valiant effort, but it was too much Happy Valley size and experience that paved the way for the Jr. Lady Warriors as they overwhelmed the visiting Comets.
   Coach Dana Hill's Lady Squaws took a commanding 28-11 lead into intermission and never looked back as 9 of the 11 ladies on the roster dented the scoring column.
   "We played awfully well in the second half, especially the second unit off the bench," stated Hill. "There was a little letdown in the first half, but they really played hard in the second."
   Samantha Canter and Chelsi Whitlock were the top guns in the first half of action as each Lady Warrior blazed the nets for 10 each. Hannah Banks and Rebecca Foxx collected 8 points each in a supporting role.
   Courtney Byers had a tremendous effort for Central as the Lady Comet ripped the twine for 13 points. Billie Jean Campbell added six and Ashley McWalters collected five for the Comets.
   Said Hill: "I thought Alison McKinney played great offense in the second half and Rachel Oliver excelled on defense. Give Central credit, they gave us a fight and didn't back down. It was good that we could get as many kids playing time as we did."
   McKinney and Emily Good pitched in with six points and Lauren Edwards, Ashley Sluder, and Oliver each finished the night with two each.