GRANITEVILLE — The last time three times Midland Valley played White Knoll (7-6), the Mustangs came up short, including a 60-56 loss in early December. However, it was a different story Tuesday night as Midland Valley led a majority of the game in a 53-45 victory over the Timberwolves.

“Defense was the key,” Midland Valley head coach Mark Snelgrove said after the game. “We weren't playing well offensively, but defensively we did a pretty good job ... This game we were more consistent especially on defense. We had a few breakdowns, but it wasn't too massive.”

The Mustangs' offense got off to a slow start, but they were able to take a 10-4 lead into the second quarter. After a White Knoll run which tied the game at 10, Midland Valley used defensive pressure to pull away and never looked back.

The Timberwolves kept the score close in part because of the aggressiveness of the Midland Valley defense, as the Mustangs had several fouls called against them in particular in the second half. White Knoll connected on 20 of its 25 free throw attempts in the game, including a 10-for-10 performance at the line from Najee Garvin. Garvin led the way for White Knoll in terms of scoring with 18 points.

“I thought there were some touchy fouls called,” Snelgrove said “We were also running, reaching and getting some cheapies. So between the two of them, that added up to a lot of free throws for them. If it wasn't for that, they wouldn't have hardly scored.”

As has been the case with many of Midland Valley's games, sophomore Daniel Carr sparked the offense.

He finished with a game-high 21 points. The “fearless” point guard, as Snelgrove described him, was also a big part of the defensive effort as well.

Taijha Turner also finished in double figures with 11, and Kameron Brown had nine.

Snelgrove was pleased despite the modest offensive output his team put up. He said the win goes to show what he has seen from his players more and more as the season has gone on. They have the belief they will win. He pointed to Tuesday's outcome and a few others, like the win over Clinton in the holiday tournament in December.

“We expect to win,” Snelgrove said. “You saw it tonight and in the Clinton game when we were down by 11 and came back to get the win.”

Part of Snelgrove's confidence in his offense comes from what he said is a roster of great shooters.

“We've got more shooters than most high school teams have. I'm still waiting for us to explode one day when they're all on. We haven't done it yet, but we can,” Snelgrove said.

The Mustangs will get their next chance to do so on Friday in the Region 5-AAA opener at Gilbert.

MIDLAND VALLEY 10-12-23-8—53

WHITE KNOLL 4-9-23-7—45

Midland Valley: Daniel Carr 9 3-4 21; Taijha Turner 5 0-0 11; Kameron Brown 3 3-5 9; Stephon Morency 2 2-2 6; T Wade 2 1-3 5; Aaron Ray 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 9-14 53

White Knoll: Najee Garvin 4 10-10 18; Emarius Logan 4 6-9 14; Chris Durran 2 3-4 8; TJ Knight 1 1-2 3; Greg Smith 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 20-25 45


Midland Valley (2-11) girls basketball team fell behind early and couldn't recover in its 39-19 loss to White Knoll.

The Mustangs were pressured into several turnovers early and was behind 14-7 by halftime. That would be the closest they would get in the game.

Gracie Gunter led all Mustangs in scoring, with 7 points.

MIDLAND VALLEY 8-6-13-12—39

WHITE KNOLL 2-5-5-7—19

White Knoll: Tinesha M. 3 1-2 7; Charrae W. 1 2-5 4; Maria G. 2 0-0 4; Anna Marie R. 1 1-1 3; Ariel B. 2 2-2 6; Brittany W. 2 2-4 7; Whitney C. 3 0-0 6; Courtney S. 0 2-2 2

Midland Valley: Christen Dunbar 0 2-4 2; Gracie Gunter 3 0-1 7; Keielana Smith 2 2-5 6; Amber Abney 0 0-2 0; B Calloway 1 0-3 2; Amber Mayer 1 0-0 2