Determined to help carry Howard back to the state basketball tournament, Brandon Walters was dominant with 27 points in a 70-40 victory over visiting Polk County in a Region 3-AA quarterfinal Saturday afternoon.
Antonio Smith added 11 points for Howard (24-5), which advances to region semifinals Tuesday at McMinn County High School.
After falling behind by double digits in the first quarter, Cleveland rallied by outscoring Cumberland County 41-15 in the second and third quarters and claimed a 54-49 win in 3-AAA. The Blue Raiders will host the remainder of the region tournament this week.
Also in 3-AAA, Walker Valley continued its pace as one of the area's hottest teams, winning for the sixth time in its last seven games, 62-46 over Warren County. Caio Hysinger and Lucas Korn scored 17 and 16 points in the Mustangs' win.
Bledsoe County is the only remaining area team still alive in 4-AA. The Warriors beat Cannon County 57-43 thanks to Eric Hale's 24 points, including three 3-pointers. Zach Campbell had 13 rebounds with eight points for Bledsoe and Jamal Worthington finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
Silverdale Baptist Academy grabbed a big early lead, then held off a furious Marion County rally for a 71-66 win in Region 3-A. Spencer Mossburg had 24 points and John Hall 22 for the Seahawks.