"We didn't play with the confidence we had in the second and third quarters," Walters said.
"It's been a long time since we've played at that level, and we haven't learned to play at that level for an entire four quarters."
Walters said he wants Casey to do more than simply scare teams like Pulaski. The Rebels have a .287 winning percentage since their last winning season in 1999-2000.
It was the first district game between the two teams since 1988, when both were in the 48th District. Pulaski had its share of problems on trips to Casey in the 1980s, and memories of those were coming back to coach Dave Fraley as the Maroons fell behind.
"It seems like the numbers change, but the behavior of the game stays the same, doesn't it?" Fraley said. "It's always been tough over here for us."
Casey missed six of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter after going 6-for-7 in the first three periods.
Walters said turnovers hurt his team just as much as missed free throws down the stretch. The Rebels committed six turnovers in the final 4:35 and two in last 10 seconds.
Fraley said Pulaski's defensive traps were more effective in the fourth quarter and led to much of the Maroons' success.
"All the things we were able to do in the fourth quarter I thought were generated by our traps," he said.
Walters said Casey struggled to escape those traps briefly at the start of the game but got through them with little trouble in the second and third quarters before reverting back to their early form late in the game.
"We played a little tentative, because we haven't been in that position," Walters said. "I think this will be a big learning experience for us."
Casey went 7-for-17 from 3-point range in the first three quarters, and Dustun Vest was 6-for-11 for 18 of his team-high 20 points.
"He shot the ball extremely well," Walters said.
A 3-pointer by Will Johnson 14 seconds into the fourth quarter gave the Rebels their largest lead at 47-34. Pulaski answered with six straight points, then answered what would be Casey's final basket with four more buckets - all on layups - to tie the game at 50-all with 3:11 remaining.
In all, eight of the Maroons' 10 fourth-quarter field goals came on layups, and five came off Casey turnovers.
Casey reclaimed a 56-52 lead with 1:29 left by making six straight free throws, four by Keith Price and two by Vest. But Pulaski tied the game 19 seconds later, and after Casey's Jason Sanders made one of two foul shots, the Maroons took a 58-57 lead on a layup by John Perkins.
Perkins scored 14 points in the fourth quarter on 6-for-8 shooting and led Pulaski with 31 points and 12 rebounds.
Casey tried to get the ball inside on its next possession, but Johnson's pass intended for Price was intercepted by Jacob Floyd, who hit two free throws with 5.8 second sleft.
The Rebels had one more chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer, but Sanders threw the inbounds pass away before they could set up a shot by Vest.
"He said he wanted it, and I want him to have it," Walters said.
Casey shot 37 percent from the field, while Pulaski shot 46 percent and made 14 of 16 free throws, including all six of its fourth-quarter attempts.
Price had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Casey, and Sanders had 11 rebounds.
Pulaski County 13 24 34 60
at Casey County 14 26 44 57
PULASKI (2-0) - John Perkins 31, Ben Meeks 17, Ty Perkins 4, Jacob Floyd 4, Kyle Hayden 4.
CASEY (1-2) - Jason Sanders 4, Keith Price 17, Corey Dial 8, Dustun Vest 20, Will Johnson 3, Andie Cannon 5.