Watauga girls defeat South Caldwell

Watauga’s Parris Bolick (23) grabs a rebound away from South Caldwell’s Emma Cottor during their game Feb. 1.

SAWMILLS — Watauga’s girls’ basketball team won its previous nine Northwestern Conference games by an average of 11.6 points per game.

Watauga went up against a South Caldwell team that brought a defense looking to curtail the visiting Pioneers’ fast break offense and to provide plenty of defensive pressure. South Caldwell did that to a point, but Watauga was able to put together a 45-39 win over the Spartans in the Pioneers’ closest NWC game of the season.

The Pioneers (16-2. 10-0 NWC) completed a season sweep of the Spartans (8-12, 4-7). Watauga was able to pull away after South Caldwell tied the game 33-33 with 4:21 left in the fourth quarter.

Watauga outscored South Caldwell 12-6 in the final 4:03 by making 6-of-9 foul shots and getting a three-point play from Brooke Byrd, which sparked the run. It was Watauga’s 16th straight victory after losing its first two games.

Watauga took a 12-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the points did not come easy until there was 3:03 left in the period when the Pioneers outscored South Caldwell 10-0.

Watauga struggled scoring in the second quarter when the Spartans held the Pioneers to just six points.

“We disguised some things that we were doing,” South Caldwell coach Jeff Parham said. “We tried to mix our defenses up — just trying to do as much as we could because they’re a great team. We tried to keep them off-stride as much as we could. At times it worked and at times it didn’t.”

Byrd finished with five points, but Rebekah Farthing led the Pioneers in scoring with 15 points and nine rebounds. Madie Darner added 14 points.

South Caldwell countered with Mackenzie Starnes, who led all scorers with 21 point after making three 3-point baskets.

“The big thing was when it was 33-33 and needed a stop and we didn’t get the stop,” Parham said. “It became a three-point play and that’ s tough.”

Watauga girls 45, South Caldwell 39

Watauga 45 (16-2, 10-0)

Byrd 2 1-1 5, Haas 2 2-2 6, Farthing 3 9-14 15, Robinson 0 3-4 3, Parris Bolick 1 2-2 4, Darner 6 2-3 14, Lopez 0 0-0 0, Paige Bolick 0 0-0 0, Warren 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 19-26 45.

South Caldwell 39 (8-12, 4-7)

Evans 1 0-0 2, Austin 1 2-3 4, Pittman 1 0-0 2, Starnes 8 0-0 21, Kale 2 0-2 5, Propst 0 0-0 0, Cottor 0 0-0 0, Huggins 0 0-0 0, Heavener 0 0-0 0, Hanson 0 0-0 0. Total 13 2-5 39.

Watauga 12 6 13 14 — 45

South Caldwell 5 8 17 9 — 39

3-point goals—Watauga, none. South Caldwell 4 (Starnes 3, Kale). Rebounds—Watauga 27 (Farthing 9), South Caldwell 15 (Kale 5). Turnovers—Watauga 15, South Caldwell 15. Total fouls—Watauga 11, South Caldwell 15. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None.

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