By Ed Greif
The CCHS Jets' quest for a Region 3AAA championship ended Saturday night with a 73-65 loss to the Walker Valley Mustangs at the Stable at WVHS.
The victory sent the Mustangs into Tuesday night's tournament semi-finals at Cookeville High School against Bradley Central High School.
Two baskets by Austin Brown gave the Jets an early 7-5 advantage, as coaches Will Foster, Blaine Moore and Scott Davis were very patient with their offense; however, a trey by Logan Melton triggered 10-0 run to give the Mustangs a 15-7 advantage by quarter's end.
CCHS was three of nine from the field with two turnovers, while Walker Valley was three of 16 with one turnover.
The Mustangs stretched the lead to 23-11 with some three minutes left in the half, but a three-point play by Cade Smith and one of two free throws by David Elliott sliced the hosts' lead to 23-15 with 2:05 left in the half.
Walker Valley tallied two buckets in that final 2:05 to take a 27-15 lead at the break.
Elliott had five points for the Jets, who were four of 12 from the field with four turnovers and just seven rebounds for the half. Walker Valley was six of 13 from the field.
Walker Valley stretched the lead 37-21 with 4:23 left in the third quarter on two free throws by Brandon Crews, but both teams ended the quarter with 12 points, allowing the Mustangs to maintain their 16-point lead (49-33).
The Jets still had fight left in them, as they converted two treys by Smith, one by Poore and four of four free throws by Elliott, to slice the Mustang lead to 54-48 with under five minutes left in the game.
Five points by Melton gave the Mustangs a 59-48 lead with 3:40 remaining in the contest, but Parsons converted two technical foul free throws with 3:37 left to key a 17-14 run to make the final margin 73-65.
Walker Valley was four of seven from the field and 13 and 13 from the free throw line, while CCHS was 11 of 13 from the field and eight of 10 from the charity stripe.
Leading the way for the Jets were Poore (nine points, one rebound, three assists, one steal), Elliott (13 points, two rebounds), Alex Dixon (two rebounds, two assists), Brown (eight points, one rebound, one assist, two steals), Smith (21 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal), Blake McLaughlin (one rebound), Logan Parsons (14 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal) and Ty Tabor (one rebound). Drew Vaden and Tanner Christopher also played.
The Jets finished the season at 11-19 overall and 4-6 in the regular season district race.