The Vikings won their fifth straight area tournament championship on Monday, beating Mortimer Jordan 46-32 behind a dominant second half.
Walker, the 5A, Area 11 Tournament champion, will take on Hartselle, the 5A, Area 13 runner up, at 7 p.m. Friday with a return spot in the regional tournament on the line. Walker is seeking its fourth straight trip to the Northwest Regional, which will be held next week at Wallace State-Hanceville.
“I’m so proud of this group,” Walker coach Scotty Ware said. “We had guys leave. Some didn’t buy in and others wanted to focus on other things. This group has held it together.”
Against Mortimer Jordan, Walker struggled early and held a slim 6-5 lead going into the second quarter. The Vikings pushed their lead to seven points at 22-15 at the half. The Vikings finally got their offense going in the third quarter. Walker opened the quarter with an 11-2 run. Peyton Gregg and Justin Kamplain each knocked down two shots and Shane Donaldson added a basket for a 33-17 lead. Walker led 37-21 after the third quarter. Mortimer Jordan got no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
Ware wanted to get the ball to his post players Monday night. Once the Vikings started executing that plan, there was no stopping them.
“We got off to a poor start,” Ware said. “We weren’t doing what we wanted to do, which is pound the ball inside. In third quarter, we established our post game. We started playing better and took better shots.”
Shane Donaldson led a balanced Walker scoring attack with 10 points. Justin Kamplain, Peyton Gregg and Tyler Sims each had nine points, Michael Tedford added five and both Ryan Dill and Michael Bridges put in two points.
For Mortimer Jordan, which will travel to Brewer on Friday in its sub-region matchup, Tyler Pelkey had 11 points and Orion Recke added six.
Walker has four seniors (A.J. Dickerson, Kamplain, Gregg and Tedford) on this year’s squad.
“Our seniors aren’t the most vocal guys, but they are leaders behind the scenes,” Ware added.
The All-Area and All-Tournament teams were announced after the game.
Walker’s Gregg, Tedford and Kamplain each made the All-Area team along with Curry’s Dylan Lane and Evan Miller. Walker’s Gregg, Kamplain and Donaldson made the All-Tournament Team as did Curry’s Miller and Ryan Manasco.