Region 1-1A: Walker leads Holmes County past Malone

Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM.

BONIFAY — Chris Walker let his teammates have some fun on Saturday. Then he decided to take command.

The University of Florida signee scored a game-high 28 points to lead Holmes County past Malone 55-47 in the Region 1-1A boys basketball championship game.

Holmes County (18-8) advanced to its first state semifinal and will play the winner of Hawthorne-Hamilton County in Lakeland on Tuesday. Malone finished 25-4 with its second regional final loss in as many years.

Walker provided counterpart Ty Baker and Malone with his typical difficult matchup. The 6-foot-9 senior has elevated his play during the postseason, that point reinforced late in Saturday’s game as Holmes County avenged a regional semifinal loss to Malone last season.

Walker’s presence in the paint and at the free-throw line helped the Blue Devils rebound from a furious Malone rally in the fourth quarter.

“All the hard work we put in paid off,” Walker said.

Walker was heavily guarded for much of the game and needed to work for many of his points. He helped Holmes County keep a healthy lead early in the fourth quarter with two putbacks of his misses and a block at the other end as the Blue Devils built a 44-35 cushion.

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