Blue Devils upset HKT in basketball

In a battle between the top two teams in region 5A basketball, Williston-Elko High varsity boys knocked off No. 5 ranked Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High by a final of 56-46 in front of a sellout crowd Friday night in Williston.

Blue Devils senior forward Antonio "Busta" Walker burn the nets in the Devils Den for 39 points which also included 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Walker was plagued by legs cramps during the second half. However, he fought through the discomfort for a career high in scoring.

"I was cramping up a lot, but I knew I couldn't afford to come out the game," Walker said. "Every little break I got I was drinking plenty of water and stretching. This was a big game for us. Hunter-Kinard-Tyler loves an up-tempo pace, so we knew we had to elevate our game to compete with them. Offensively I thought we did a good very job of breaking their press and taking the ball strong to the hoop."

Williston-Elko High, winners of its last five games, improves to 11-8 overall and 8-2 in region play. Williston-Elko High moves into second place in region play, one-game behind frontrunner Hunter-Kinard-Tyler.

Williston-Elko High coach Devin Liferidge said he knew they needed a strong defensive performance.

"We can out man-to-man on them then we switched to zone. Our goal was give them different looks defensively and contest every shot," Liferidge said. "I thought we did an outstanding job of boxing out and rebounding. In the second half, they made a couple of runs at us, but we never got rattled. We stayed focused and finished the game strong."

Williston-Elko High, which led by as much as 14 points in the second half, saw its lead trimmed to 46-41 with 5:18 left in the game.

However, the Blue Devils, weathered the Trojan storm and answered back behind the plays of Wilbur Greene, Dexter Staley and Walker.

Greene's three-pointer with 3:47 left to play ended a nearly three-minute Blue Devil scoring drought. Staley had six rebounds in the last four minutes of the game.

Staley had four fourth-quarter points, highlighted by a slam dunk on the opening possession of the final quarter.

Walker, who had 33 points entering the fourth quarter, went four-of-four from the free throw line during the last three minutes of play.

"Antonio Walker is a special player. He got into a good scoring groove early in the game and his teammates fed off his energy," Liferidge said. "I would have liked a little more balanced scoring. However, when you have a player as talented as Walker, sometimes its best to let him take over a game."