Lady Eagles lose 66-64 to Walker Valley; Hampton Scores 27
Charleston, TN — The Rhea County Lady Eagles lost 66-64 at Walker Valley on a night when junior guard Mallory Hampton scored 27 points to push her career point total to 1003 points. Lady Eagles saw their season record fall to 1-3. Their next game against Riverdale on Saturday at 6 pm at Woodbury will be challenging as well. After the game coach Gill still remained confident in his team and expects the early season tough schedule to pay dividends as the season progresses.
Lady Eagles began the night short handed with Haley Cameron on the bench nursing an ankle injury. Emma Gentry subbed in and made her presence know with opening three to give Rhea the 3-0 lead. Hampton followed a Walker Valley three with first of her 27 points on the night to give Lady Eagles 5-3 lead. In a closely contested first quarter, Walker hit a 5-0 run to take a 11-7 lead but Lady Eagles used own 5-0 run to take 12-11 lead. Free throw by Walker gave Lady Mustangs 13-11 lead with 2:46 left in first quarter. It was Rhea County with the lead at end of first 18-16 with Smith and Jenkins getting on the board for the Lady Eagles.
Kendall Gibson’s free throws gave Lady Mustangs 23-21 lead but Hampton’s basket knotted score 23-23 with 4:59 left in second quarter. Abby Davis canned couple of freebies but Hampton answered with corner three to put Rhea up 26-26 with 4:06 left in half. Hampton and Maddie Smith hit three free throws to push lead to 29-25 with 2:05 left in half. Walker Valley converted two three point plays(with free throw) to take 31-29 lead late but Hampton came up with steal and dribbled down court and fed Smith for tying layup with five seconds left to make the score 31-31 at the half.
In the third it was back and forth early. A Macy Welch elbow three put Lady Eagles up 37-35 with 5:29 left on clock but Baker answered for Lady Mustangs with 4:38 to put Walker up 38-37. With 3:29 a Davis drive put Lady Mustangs ahead and then Laney Harris buried an elbow three to give Walker a 45-40 lead with 2:46 left in third. Davis had another old fashioned three as she was fouled on driving basket and Lady Mustangs took 48-41 lead with 2:18 left in quarter. Laney Harris brought the quarter to a bad end for the Lady Eagles as she sank a uncontested three at buzzer to give Lady Mustangs 53-41 lead with one quarter remaining.
Macy Welch’s basket early in fourth quarter was first by Lady Eagles since around 3:29 mark in third and it put Lady Eagles down 53-43. Emma Gentry nailed a three at the elbow to pull Rhea within 55-46 with 5:42 left in game and Macy Welch snatched ball from Walker and was rewarded with two free throws at other end as she drove. Free Throws made the score 55-48 with 4:43 left in game.
Timeout with 4:01 showed Walker Valley up 57-50 and Eagles needed some stops. A Maddie Taylor corner three brought the Lady Eagle crowd to their feet as basket cup gap to 57-53 with 2:47 left in game but Baker answered with three for Lady Mustangs on next trip down the court. Baker then came up with big rejection as Lady Eagles were on their way to basket after Taylor steal. With Walker up 60-53, it was Mallory Hampton maneuvering through three defenders for crucial basket with 1:23 left in game. After two made free throws by Davis, it was Hampton making the elbow jumper to keep the Lady Eagles in the game 62-57 with 1:13 left in the game. After a made free throw by Walker, Maddie Smith drove 90 feet for the lay-in to keep Lady Eagles in the game, 63-59.
With 30 seconds left, it looked like Rhea had tied up Walker but foul call send Walker to the line and Lady Mustangs took 64-59 lead. After a Lady Eagle miss they were forced to foul/ Abby Davis made both freebies for 66-59 lead with 17 seconds left in game. A Taylor three and Hampton jumper in the last 1:7 seconds made the final 66-64.
Tough loss on the road to a good team. Mallory Hampton lead the way with 27 points for the lady Eagles. Maddie Taylor finished in double figures with 11 points. Also scoring for Lady Eagles were Maddie Smith(8), Emma Gentry(8), Macy Welch(7) and Skylar Jenkins(3). For Walker Valley it was Abby Davis leading the team with 25 points. Baker and Fowler each finished in double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively. Also scoring for Walker were Harris(8), Gibson(4), Bentley(3), Roberts(2) and Rue(2).
By quarter for game:’
Rhea 18 13 10 23 = 64
Walker 16 15 22 13 = 66
After the game, coach Gill said, “The team is in the right frame of mind. It is a process. I am happy where we are at. I think we took some steps back defensively tonight. In the last two games we were very good on defensive end.”
“Freshman stepped up. it s not just about point totals. It’s about rebounding, being out on the floor and making some plays”
“I have to realize that we have girls putting a lot of minutes out on the floor. Haley has an ankle sprain and we are hoping she can play against Riverdale.”
“Mallory Hampton has joined the thousand point club. In the last four games she has scored 85 points and averaged double figures in rebounds. She is a very skilled offensive player. Probably as skilled an offensive player. Probably as skilled an offensive player as I have coached. It is a great accomplishment and I am very proud of her.”