Happy Valley hosts Christmas Tournament for the first time in 40 years, Warriors and Highlanders pick up wins

Published 9:09 am Thursday, December 21, 2023

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

Happy Valley, under the direction of Head Coach Shane Williams, plays host this week to several boys’ and girls’ teams from Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The opportunity to host their own Christmas tournament is something Coach Williams hopes becomes an ongoing tradition on Warrior Hill. Besides the host Warriors, the Cloudland Highlanders will also be participating. Tuesday saw a full slate of games, including 12 pm and 8 pm matchups for the Highlanders.

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Happy Valley 67, Twin Springs 48

The Warriors used their team speed to get off to a fast start, jumping out to a 16-3 lead. Five different players scored in the first period, including an early Darian Jackson 3-pointer that provided a spark. The Warriors maintained the lead going into the locker room, up 32-19. AJ Campbell hit a couple of big 3-pointers in the second period to keep the Warriors’ edge. Throughout the game, the Warriors would force Twin Springs into rushed and off-balanced shots.

The Warriors scored 19 points in both the third and fourth periods, pushing the lead to 22 at one time. Darian Jackson scored 21 to lead all scorers, while AJ Campbell scored 12 off four 3-pointers, and Artee Bahn chipped in 9. After the game, Warriors Head Coach Shane Williams talked about the game and what he needs to see from his squad moving forward, saying, ‘I thought our guys played with a very tough defensive mindset today, challenging shots and defending the glass. Moving forward, we still want to see teamwork, and in those moments when things go wrong, can we pull together when situations are not going our way,’ Williams shared.


Highlanders 52, Cedar View 43

The Highlanders jumped out to a 6-point lead in the first period and then held a small to moderate lead throughout the contest. Dylan McClellan worked the paint for 20 points, including 14 in the first period, to lead the Highlanders. Cooper Smith added 16, and Kingston Cole contributed 9. The key to the game may have been McClellan and Smith hitting some key free throws in the final period.

Cedar View’s Xander Manning led all scorers with 23.


KACHEA 54, Highlanders 41

Cloudland returned to the floor for an 8 pm contest against the Wildcats. The Highlanders at times seemed to struggle with the length of the Wildcats. They also had several close calls that would not go their way. The Highlanders dug a hole early, falling behind 36-15 after the first half. They battled back, closing the game to single digits several times but eventually went down by 13.

Nick Carroway scored 15 in the game, and Kingston Cole added 10 in the losing cause. After the game, Head Highlander Coach Spencer Nave discussed the loss, saying, ‘We fell in a big hole but played hard in the second half. We started sluggish, went cold, and struggled to hit some open shots,’ Nave shared.

Both the Warriors and Highlanders will see action on Wednesday, with the Highlanders taking on Twin Springs in the Losers Bracket and the Warriors facing Twin Springs.”