To the basket

Watauga’s Cora Lubsen (13) drives to the basket against Joselin Turner (14) and Elizabeth Sumpter while Watauga’s Rebekah Farthing (5) and Ava Williamson (12) look on.

BOONE — The Watauga girls’ basketball team pulled away from visiting St. Stephens to take a 45-33 win over the Indians at Lentz-Eggers Gym on Jan. 10.

The Pioneers (9-4, 3-1 Northwestern Conference) won for the fifth time out of six games dating back to Dec. 19. The Pioneers led 31-26 in the fourth quarter and outscored the Indians 14-6 in the final 4:23 of the game to secure the win.

Watauga got 22 points from Brooke Byrd, who made 8-of-13 from the free throw line. Chelsi Hodges scored nine points, but the rest of the Watauga offense looked sluggish at times, especially in the second quarter when the Pioneers were limited to just five points.

St. Stephens also struggled offensively, but still managed to take a 17-15 lead at halftime.

“We had a normal pregame and a little bit of an earlier start,” Barry said. “I don’t know if we underestimated them, but we had lazy legs. We practiced a little early on Thursday and our free throw shooting was abysmal.”

Watauga was able to pull away from St. Stephens (2-14, 0-4 NWC) by outscoring the Indians 30-16, but Barry would like to have seen the Pioneers attack the St. Stephens zone defense more aggressively.

“Our attack mode against the zone was bad,” Barry said. “We gave up points to them, which I am upset about, but we didn’t give up that many. But to score 15 in one half is just not our basketball and not our style. It was my fault for not going with the pressure, but then in the third quarter we did turn it around with a little full-court pressure.”

Watauga started to find some offense in the third quarter after opening the period with a 5-0 run. St. Stephens answered with a 6-0 run of its own, but Watauga closed out the third with a 6-0 run that left them in front 26-23.

Watauga returns to the court Jan 14 to play at Hickory. The Pioneers continue their schedule Jan. 17 to host Freedom.

Watauga girls 45, St. Stephens 33

St. Stephens 33 (2-14, 0-4)

Pilkenton 0 0-0 0, Ramseyer 1 0-0 3, Turner 5 5-7 15, McGlamery 1 0-1 2, Machuca 0 0-0 0, Rhodes 2 1-5 5, Sumpter 2 0-0 4, Tomlinson 1 2-2 4, Moulton 0 0-0 0, Scott 0 0-0 0, Bailey 0 0-0 0, Watts 0 0-0 0, O’Mara 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 8-16 33.

Watauga 45 (9-4, 3-1)

Byrd 7 8-13 22, Sturgill 0 3-4 3, R. Farthing 1 1-2 3, Williamson 2 0-0 5, C. Farthing 0 1-2 1, Coffey 0 2-6 2, Hodges 4 1-2 9, Keller 0 0-0 0, Lubsen 0 0-3 0, Scheffler 0 0-0 0, Pruess 0 0-0 0, Lipford 0 0-0 0.

St. Stephens 5 12 6 10 — 33

Watauga 10 5 13 17 — 45

3-point goals—St. Stephens 1 (Ramseyer); Watauga 1 (Williamson). Total fouls—St. Stephens 23, Watauga 17. Fouled out—St. Stephens, (Rhodes).

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