The Raiders led 34-30 at halftime, but the Wildcats used a 6-0 run midway through the third to take the lead. After calling a time out, Walton returned to action with the 11-0 run and never trailed again.
Malik Chenault made a layup following a Chuck Ashley block that put Walton in front by four with 42 seconds left in the game.
Wheeler’s Avery Patterson made a 3-pointer, but Walton’s Rico Overall answered after driving the lane and converted a three-point play to push the margin back to four with 26 seconds remaining.
Wheeler scored another field goal, and the two teams traded free throws over the final few seconds.
Walton nursed a three-point lead with eight seconds left in the game, but Wheeler failed to tie the contest despite getting two attempts from beyond the arc in the closing seconds.
The win marked Walton’s first victory at Wheeler in 27 years. It was also the third time in the last 19 seasons that the Raiders beat the Wildcats.
Overall had 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as Walton (12-12, 5-8) made 17-of-22 free throws compared to 25-of-33 for Wheeler and forced 18 turnovers.
Chad Clay had 14 points for the Raiders, while C.J. Wingate added 12 and Maurice Gibson had 11.
Jalen Brown led Wheeler (10-4, 8-4) with 15 points. Austin Smoak had 11.
The loss leaves Wheeler in danger of losing out on the region’s No. 1 seed. If Cherokee beats Milton today, the Wildcats get the No. 2 seed in the upcoming region tournament.
n Wheeler 51, Walton 44: Cassidy Allen scored a career-high 21 points and added six steals to lead Wheeler to the Region 5AAAAAA win at home.
Alaysia Mitchell had 18 points, while Shaquashia Keeling added a career-best 16 rebounds for the Lady Wildcats (8-15, 8-7), who had 12 team steals.
Kathy Johnson had 12 points for Walton, while Hannah Patterson contributed 11.
n Mount Paran 4, Sprayberry 0: The Lady Eagles earned a season-opening shutout over the Lady Yellow Jackets.
Charlotte Dayton scored two goals — one in each half — while Allie Attencio and Ali Fern each added one.
Courtney McKenzie and Katie Sweeney combined for the shutout in goal.
Mount Paran (1-0) will travel to Hillgrove on Thursday.