Valle Crucis beats Hardin Park

Hardin Park’s Micha Turbett (20) challenges Valle Crucis’ Landon Johnson (15) and Brooks Howser (21) in the second half of their game Jan. 22.

BOONE — Valle Crucis’ boys’ basketball team solidified third place in the Watauga County Middle School Basketball League standings with a 38-32 victory over host Hardin Park Jan. 22.

Valle Crucis (10-4) finished one game in front of Hardin Park (9-5), which finished in fourth place in the league. Valle Crucis, seeded third, opens the boys’ middle school tournament at home against sixth seed Cove Creek (3-11) at 5 p.m.

Hardin Park, seeded fourth, hosts visiting fifth seed Blowing Rock (5-9) at 5 p.m. Both games are on Jan. 25.

Parkway (14-0), which closed out an undefeated season with a 60-43 win over Mabel on Jan. 22, hosts eighth-seed Green Valley (2-12), also at 5 p.m. on Jan. 25. No. 2 seed Bethel (11-3) hosts No. 7 Mabel (2-12) at 5 p.m. on Jan. 25.

The semifinals are Jan. 29 and the final is Feb. 1 at Watauga High School.

Valle Crucis outscored Hardin Park 16-3 in the third quarter to pull away from the Eagles. The Cougars broke a 15-15 halftime tie by opening the third quarter with a 14-0 run, capped by baskets by Landon Johnson and Clement Heistand, to take a 29-15 lead.

Thomas Clements eventually stopped the run with a 3-point basket, but Valle Crucis’ Brooks Howser closed out the quarter with a stickback to give the Cougars a 31-18 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Instead of folding, Hardin Park fought back with a 10-0 run of its own at the start of the fourth quarter. Gresham Collins scored four of those 10 points to help the Eagles close to 31-28 with 2:39 left in the game.

Valle Crucis regrouped and got a three-point play from Heistand to give the Cougars a 38-30 lead with 46.1 seconds to go.

Heistand led the Cougars with 15 points, while Howser scored nine. Nicholas Stewart and Johnson each scored five points and Jack Neal scored four.

Patrick McKethan finished with 12 points to lead Hardin Park in scoring. Chase Perry scored seven points, Collins scored five, Micha Turbett scored four and Clements scored three.

In other games played Jan. 22, Bethel secured second place with a 46-21 win over Green Valley, and Blowing Rock beat Cove Creek 30-15.

Valle Crucis boys 38, Hardin Park 32.

Valle Crucis 38 (10-4)

Stewart 1 2-4 5, Howser 3 2-4 9, Heistand 7 1-2 15, Neal 2 0-0 4, Landon Johnson 2 1-4 5, Aldridge 0 0-0 0, McLean 0 0-0 0, Townsend 0 0-0 0, Luke Johnson 0 0-0 0, Harrick 0 0-0 0, Wilcox 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 6-14 38.

Hardin Park 32 (9-5)

Collins 2 2-2 6, Clements 1 0-0 3, Turbett 2 0-2 4, Perry 1 4-4 7, McKethan 5 2-10 12, Hiatt 0 0-0 0, Penley 0 0-0 0, J. Fowler 0 0-0 0, Hunt 0 0-0 0, Cole Horine 0 0-0 0, Carlton 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, M. Fowler 0 0-0 0, Fairbanks 0 0-0 0, Shirley 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 8-18 32.

Valle Crucis 10 5 16 9 — 38

Hardin Park 8 7 3 14 — 32

3-point goals—Valle Crucis 2 (Stewart, Howser), Hardin Park 2 (Clements, Perry). Total fouls—Valle Crucis 14, Hardin Park 15.

Final boys’ standings

Parkway 14-0

Bethel 11-3

Valle Crucis 10-4

Hardin Park 9-5

Blowing Rock 5-9

Cove Creek 3-11

Green Valley 2-12

Mabel 2-12

Jan. 22 games

Parkway 60, Mabel 43

Valle Crucis 38, Hardin Park 32

Bethel 46, Green Valley 21

Blowing Rock 30, Cove Creek 15

Boys’ middle school tournament games

Jan. 25

(All games at higher seeded sites)

Green Valley (8) at Parkway (1), 5 p.m.

Blowing Rock (5) at Hardin Park (4), 5 p.m.

Cove Creek (6) at Valle Crucis (3), 5 p.m.

Mabel (7) at Bethel (2), 5 p.m.

Jan. 29

Semifinals

All games at Watauga High School

Green Valley-Parkway winner vs. Hardin Park-Blowing Rock winner, 6 p.m.

Valle Crucis-Cove Creek winner vs. Bethel-Mabel winner, 7 p.m.

Feb. 1

Final

Semifinal winners, 6:30 p.m.

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