Lady Eagles win over Walker Valley: Face Bradley Central on Monday
Evensville, TN — Rhea County Lady Eagles basketball team opened their Region 3-AAA play against Walker Valley and came away with a 74-69 win on Friday night at home. Rhea County looked early like they would take command to win by double digits but Walker Valley kept the game close and Lady Eagles never could put this one out of doubt until the final seconds. Senior Micah Black led the way for Lady Eagles with 20 points. Mallory Hampton, Caity Blevins, Haley Cameron and Macy Welch each hit double figures with 16, 12, 11 and 11 points respectively. Mariah Martin and Maddie Smith finished scoring with 3 and 1 points respectively.
Macy Welch got things started with three to open the scoring and then Micah Black scored off a steal and then Mallory Hampton feed Black for fast break bucket and Lady Eagles led 7-2 within the first minute. Late it was Caity Blevins with layin and then Hampton with the three after Welch rebound to move to 16-7 with just over three minutes remaining in first quarter. Black finished off the first quarter with a three and Lady Eagles had 24-13 lead after one.
Hampton and Mariah Martin opened second quarter with three point makes to push the Rhea County lead to 32-15 and things looked good for the home team. Rhea maintained double digit lead most of the quarter and with just over two minutes remaining, Mallory Hampton hit two free throws for a 38-24 lead. The Lady Mustangs hit a couple of three pointers to put together a 8-0 run to cut the lead to 38-32 before Black free throw made it 39-32 at the half.
Walker ran their steak to 15-1 with the first seven points of third quarter for 39-39 tie with just under seven minutes remaining in third quarter. Caity Blevins came off the bench to sink three free throws for Black, who was shook up on the three point attempt and Lady Eagles pushed lead to 49-42 with 2:40 left in the quarter. Black would return with no ill effects later. Mallory Hampton hit a late free throw for the 57-50 margin after three quarters for the Lady Eagles.
Macy Welch canned an opening three to push the lead to 60-50 but Harris responded for Lady Mustangs with a three to dip below double digits again. With 3:46 the Lady Mustangs got a fast break basket to pull within 62-57. A Harris three cut the lead to 66-63 with just over two minutes remaining before Black drained a corner three to push lead back up to six, 69-63. Lady Eagles gave Lady Mustangs new life with late turnover but they turned it right back over and Haley Cameron tacked on a late free throw for the final 74-69 margin.
The reward for their win is to move on in Region play. The bad is the next opponent will be Bradley Central, the 29-0 Lady Bears are ranked number 2 in the state and 28th nationally and feature Rhyne Howard(averaging 22.4 ppg) the three time 5-AAA District Player of the Year. Bradley won their opening Region game against Warren County 87-22. Fellow district team Stone Memorial won on Friday night to move on in the tournament with 61-47 win over Cleveland.
In a related story, Tony Williams, former Rhea Middle School girls coach and former Rhea County High School boy’s coach was selected “Coach of the Year” for district 5-AAA.
Check out Rhyne Howard’s interview below: