Working inside the land

Watauga’s Tyler Ward (32) works against Hickory’s Nick Everhardt in their game at Lentz-Eggers Gym.

BOONE — The Hickory boys’ basketball team did a little more than break open a close Northwestern Conference game at Watauga. The Red Tornadoes shattered it.

After entering the second quarter tied, Hickory entered halftime with a 19-point lead. Watauga could not catch up and lost 76-46 at Lentz-Eggers Gym on Feb. 11.

The Pioneers (7-14, 4-7 NWC) stayed close to Hickory (17-4, 7-3), and actually held a 15-11 lead after back-to-back baskets from Anderson Castle and Jaiden Bond. Hickory made up the difference to tie the game, and then used that momentum to open the second quarter with a 17-2 run. Hickory’s senior guard Davis Amos capped the run with a 3-point basket that gave the Red Tornadoes a 32-17 lead that was never challenged.

“We let them have big spurts in the second quarter,” Watauga coach Laura Barry said. “We let them get going too much. They ran some sets against our zone and got out on transition with our turnovers and we ran out of scoring to counter that rather quickly.” Amos , who made three 3-point baskets, led all scorers with 20 points. Bond led Watauga with 11 points and Castle scored nine points.

Hickory got 14 points from Nick Everhardt and 10 points from Cody Young. The Red Tornadoes kept their NWC championship hopes alive, but must beat Alexander Central (Feb. 11) and St. Stephens (Feb. 14). Hickory must also hope Freedom (20-1, 9-1) loses to Watauga (Feb. 11) and McDowell (Feb. 14).

Hickory boys 76, Watauga 46

Hickory 76 (17-4, 7-3 NWC)

Young 4 1-4 10, Hargrove 4 0-1 8, Amos 8 1-2 20, Joyner-McCorkle 2 0-0 4, Maddox 3 0-0 7, Culbreath 3 0-0 9, Cooper 2 0-0 4, Everhardt 7 0-0 14, Walker 0 0-0 0, Harshaw 0 0-0 0. Totals 33 2-7 76.

Watauga (46) (7-14, 4-7 NWC)

Bond 5 0-0 11, Freeman 0 0-1 0, Sears 2 0-0 6, Castle 4 1-2 9, Earnhardt 1 1-2 4, Robbins 3 2-2 10, Martin 2 0-0 4, Privette 1 0-0 2, Ward 0 0-0 0, Hale 0 0-0 0, Greer 0 0-0 0, Ricker 0 0-0 0, Perry 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 4-7 46.

Hickory 15 23 17 21 — 76

Watauga 15 4 10 17 — 46

3-point goals—Hickory 8 (Amos 3, Culbreath 3, Young, Maddox), Watauga 6 (Sears 2, Robbins 2, Bond, Earnhardt). Total fouls—Hickory 12, Watauga 7. Fouled out—Walker. Technical fouls—None.

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