Vikings outlast HV in double-overtime

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com

   BRISTOL -- Free throws made the difference.
   In an emotion-drenched battle, the Tennessee High Vikings had to use two overtimes to defeat the Happy Valley Warriors 67-63 in the TSSAA Hall of Fame game Saturday night at Viking Hall.
   Happy Valley fought from a deficit and had a chance to win the game with two seconds remaining in regulation as Chris Rutledge missed two of three free throws.
   The game went into overtime and both teams missed free throws that would've made the difference. It was tied again, and this time Tennessee High executed. The Vikings rallied on the line late in the second overtime period to pull it out.
   "I thought we played well," said Happy Valley head coach Charlie Bayless. "I thought we worked the boards pretty good with them. They shoot well, but we were determined. They played wildcat basketball in the second half, and we had to go one-on-one to try and beat them.
   "Two overtimes helps the boys during the season. It's a loss, but I'm getting too old anyways to worry about the record. I'm glad to have a good ball club."
   Happy Valley went up 13-2 more than halfway through the first period, courtesy of two treys from Todd Caldwell and a pair of buckets from Tim Whaley.
   The Warriors went up by 12 points, but Tennessee High went on a strong run with under two minutes remaining in the period.
   Daniel Booher's free throws and a three-point play from Drew Porter helped the Vikings close the Warriors' lead to five at the end of the frame.
   The Vikings held Happy Valley scoreless through the first part of the stanza. Bryan Terrill and Matt Buchanan rallied the unit to their first lead, removing Happy Valley from their gameplan.
   DeShaud Johnson added a pair of buckets to give Tennessee High a seven-point lead at the end of the half.
   There were 25 fouls called in the first half.
   Happy Valley opened the second half with the same intensity as the first. Whaley, Ricky Morgan and Chris Rutledge put in buckets to close Tennessee's edge.
   However, Terrill and Buchanan pushed things back out for the Vikings with a little help from Daniel Booher, taking a 45-39 lead after three.
   Whaley cut it to three momentarily in the fourth quarter, but the Vikings charged back to a seven-point advantage behind Booher.
   Happy Valley sliced it down to two, twice, but were forced to start fouling after Tennessee High came up with some crucial rebounds.
   The Vikings did well from the charity stripe, but a missed shot set up Whaley with a three-pointer. Happy Valley stole the ball and
   Rutledge got fouled from the three-point line with 2.1 seconds in the game.
   Rutledge tied the game, but missed the final two shots and Whaley missed a clutch bucket to send the game into overtime.
   Whaley and Buchanan battled with buckets to open the extra frame.
   Rutledge gave the Warriors a one-point lead, but Whaley was fouled out on the next trip down the court.
   Booher made it a three point lead for the Vikings after free throws, but Alex Carroll came right back with a bucket for the Warriors.
   Happy Valley's defense set up Johnson with his fifth foul, giving them the ball with under a minute remaining. Carroll pulled out big with a three point play to give the unit a two-point lead as the clock ran down.
   Carroll fouled out and Buchanan made it a one-point game from the charity stripe. It prompted fouling from Tennessee High, Caldwell was fouled with 15 left and he made both buckets.
   However, Buchanan bounced back down the floor and made a tried to send it into a second extra period with the game tied at 63 apiece.
   Chase Mitchell gave Tennessee an initial lead in the period. The squad ran the clock down under the minute mark, after Happy Valley turned it over.
   Mitchell hit two free throws to give the Vikings a four-point lead.
   The Warriors failed to do anything in the final period and that was the deciding factor.
   The finish was tough for Whaley, who led the game with 23 points.
   "It was real tough," he said. "I could only cheer my team on and hope for the best."
   "I think we stepped up tremendously tonight and proved that we could play with anybody we faced," he said. "We knew they were big, strong and could shoot, but we had to play physical with them and get after them."
   Buchanan led Tennessee High with 19 points, while Booher and Terrill had 15 and 13, respectively. Caldwell finished with 14 for the Warriors.
   Returning starter Andrew Bowman was out of the Hall of Fame games for Happy Valley, but will return for Tuesday night's game against Boone.
   Lady Vikings 64
   Lady Warriors 56
   The Happy Valley Lady Warriors were in for a challenge Saturday evening.
   Facing one of the area's best players in Courtney Watkins, and Tennessee High, the Lady Warriors battled within as much as five late, but couldn't pull things out.
   Watkins dropped in 21 points to lead her squad to a 64-56 victory in the early girls battle.
   Tennessee High overwhelmed Happy Valley with a 19-9 lead at the end of the first period and maintained that advantage throughout the contest.
   The Lady Warriors trailed by 13 at the end of the first half, but rallied with to outscore Tennessee High in the third quarter. Brandi Dugger and Keila Williams cut the Lady Vikings lead to five on a six-point run.
   Williams led the Lady Warriors with 19 points in the game, while Terra Whaley and Kate Powell netted 14 and 13 points, respectively.
   Sarah Goodman and Megan Blevins scored nine a piece, whike Laura Counts tallied 8 for the Lady Vikings.