Lassiter at Walton 5.JPG

Walton coach Bo Abney and his Raiders held off Marietta on Friday.

MARIETTA – Parker Mayo made seven 3-pointers as part of his game-high 26 points to lead Walton to a 60-58 victory over Marietta in Region 3AAAAAAA play Friday night.

The victory in a rematch of last year’s region championship game was the Raiders (9-7, 2-0) fourth in a row.

The win keeps Walton in a first-place tie in Region 3AAAAAAA with Hillgrove. Marietta (4-13, 1-1) drops into a third-place tie with Harrison, one game back.

“Parker, he was clutch,” coach Bo Abney said. “He’s been shooting the ball really well lately. He’s a good 3-point shooter and had seven 3-pointers in our last game. He puts in the time, he is one of our hardest workers, he knows his role is to shoot the ball and spread the defense out.”

The Raiders led the game throughout, but could never shake the Blue Devils. Walton took a 40-33 lead to the final quarter, and still led by seven, 57-50 with just under a minute to play. From there, Marietta made its final run.

Jaiden Mann scored on a layup, and after a pair of Walton free throws by Mayo, Mann followed with a 3-pointer to cut the Raiders lead to 59-55. Harrison Morris, who finished with 13 points, made 1 of 2 free throws to push the lead to five, but when Jack Bourgeois connected on a 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds left, Marietta was suddenly within two.

Heading to the line to try and seal the game, Walton missed both free throws, but Khamani Paxton was able to come down with the offensive rebound and the Raiders ran out the clock.

“Complete battle,” Abney said. “Marietta never gave up. We had the lead coming into the fourth, they hit some big shots. Fortunately, we have some guys who can handle the pressure well. (We) made a few free throws, and got an offensive rebound at the end. That's kind of who we are. We do the little things well.”

Luke Flynn finished with 11 points and four rebounds for Walton. Paxton added eight.

Mann led Marietta with 17 points. Arkansas State signee Izaiyah Nelson was a force inside with 14 points and Bourgeois added nine.

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