Daniel Boone nudges past Happy Valley

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   It was a classic meeting between two coaching legends when the Happy Valley Warriors took on the Daniel Boone Trailblazers on Tuesday night.
   In recent years, Bobby Snyder has gotten the better end of Charlie Bayless, but this time around it didn't come that easy, with the Trailblazers barely pulling off a 50-47 victory at Bayless Gym.
   "We knew coming over here it was going to be really tough, and we're fortunate to come out of here with a win," said Snyder. "There were times during the third quarter that they whip us, but we had a couple of kids to hit some buckets when it meant a lot."
   The Warriors had missed opportunities down the stretch, failing to knock down the three-point shot in the final seconds of regulation.
   An attempt from Jeremy Maddox with less than 10 seconds left, along with a shot by Todd Caldwell which caught the back of the rim, enabled Boone to walk away victorious after a hard-fought contest.
   The Warriors clung to a 10-8 lead in the first period, when Alex Carroll drained a turn around 12-foot jumper with 2:57 left to go.
   "I told the boys that we lost, but I thought we played a real good basketball game," said Bayless.
   Daniel Boone came back going on a 10-2 run, with Morgan Honeycutt popping a three-point goal and nailing a jumper with two seconds to play.
   Happy Valley struggled with its offense in the second period, as did Boone as both teams were playing solid defense.
   Tim Whaley's shot down low, plus drawing a foul, pulled the Warriors to within five points right before the halftime break.
   The Trailblazers enjoyed a 26-20 lead at the half, but it didn't last long as Happy Valley started the period by outscoring Boone 13-4 in the first three and a half minutes.
   The Warriors were successful from behind the arch on three separate occasions, with Chris Rutledge and Andrew Bowman knocking down the long-range shot.
   A three-pointer from Maddox gave Happy Valley a 33-30 lead with 4:23 left in the period, but Boone would come back right before the end of the quarter on the transition.
   Two fast-break conversions from Kevin Champagne pulled the Trailblazers even, as the game was all knotted up at 39-39 to start the final quarter.
   "I knew we had to come out and play hard. I knew they would be ready for us, and we had some people step up for us," said Champagne. "This is a key win for us, and we have to continue to work hard and do a better job on blocking out, and hopefully improve throughout the season."
   Champagne finished the game with 12 points to lead the Trailblazers, while teammate Fox added 11.
   The Warriors elected to go to their stronghorse inside in the final period, as Whaley was not to be denied by making the spin move down-low, giving Happy Valley an one-point edge at the 6:05 mark.
   Daniel Boone battled back to go up by four in the next minute and a half, with a foul-line jumper coming from Aaron Cox, making it 46-42.
   The Warriors made another rally to retake the lead off a three-point goal by Caldwell and a bucket down-low from Whaley, after Maddox made a nice pass inside.
   Whaley led the Warriors on the evening with a total of 15 points, as seven of them came in the final period of play.
   "We just made little mistakes and some big plays at the end, along with foul shots for I missed three or four myself," said Whaley. "We have to hit our shots when they come to us and just cut down on the little mistakes."
   A key rebound from Ryan Doyle and turnaround jumper along the baseline put the Trailblazers out in front with nearly a minute and a half left in the contest.
   Happy Valley caught a break on a loose ball off a missed free throw from Boone, as the Warriors looked to somehow pull this game out.
   Unfortunately for them, Maddox was unable to capitalize off a wide-open look from the top of the key, which forced the Warriors to foul in a last desperation plea.
   "We had a few chances there at the end and had the shots but missed them, and also we had a couple of shots on the break and didn't capitalize off the opportunities we were given," said Bayless. "He's got a real good ball club because their real sound and have good shooters."
   Two free-throws from Fox gave Boone a three-point advantage, with the Warriors facing one last chance at a tying three-point goal.
   The shot by Caldwell out top bounced off the back of the rim with two seconds left, giving Coach Snyder another key Boone victory over one of his lifelong competitors and friend.
   "The Champagne kid did a good job at running the transition and getting a couple of easy buckets, and of course Fox hit those two free throws to help secure the win," said Snyder. "Charlie is going to be somebody to reckon with through the season, but come tournament time I don't want to have to play him. He's going to be tough."
   Lady Trailblazers 66
   Lady Warriors 45
   An awesome display of teamwork and passing the ball to the open area was executed by the Lady Trailblazers in their win over the Lady Warriors.
   Daniel Boone controlled the boards and made the right passes for the last three quarters, as Happy Valley couldn't quite seem to come up with an answer to slow them down.
   "The best thing we did all night was make the pass and find the open looks," said Daniel Boone coach Tim Campbell. "We did a good job on the boards in the first half, I thought, and I told these girls you must be ready to play all 32 minutes and they did that."
   The Warriors hung tough during the first part of the contest by battling their way to an 11-11 tie at the end of the first period.
   A couple of outside goals from Kortney Goulds and Katie Powell helped the Warriors keep even stride, but Laura Hilton responded on the other end with a three-point goal to answer the challenge.
   The second period wasn't near as kind to Happy Valley, as foul trouble put them in a tough situation by not having enough fire power to keep pace.
   "We played real well in the first quarter, and then we got in foul trouble and dug a hole and just couldn't mount enough offense to come back," said Happy Valley coach Ben Godsey.
   The Trailblazers outscored them 23-6 en route to a 34-17 halftime advantage, which the Warriors never responded from.
   A drive on the break by Jamie Masengill and bucket by Hilton after a steal off the press gave Boone its biggest lead of the night, 47-24, with two and a half minutes left in the third.
   Happy Valley didn't have any success of making a run in the final period, as the Trailblazers' passing game was finding the open shot nearly every time down the floor.
   Both Hilton and Haylee Collins led Boone in scoring with 12 points apiece, while Keila Williams poured in 12 for the Warriors. Goulds added 11.
   "Overall we didn't play a good game," said Godsey. "Saturday we had a good game, but tonight we came out flat and didn't do a good job of moving the ball down the floor."