Watauga beats Alexander Central

Watauga’s Rebekah Farthing (5) goes up for a shot in front of teammate Brelyn Sturgill (3) and Alexander Central’s Nikki Hagy.

BOONE — The Watauga girls’ basketball team had the right amount of offense and defense to cruise to a 63-40 victory over visiting Alexander Central at Watauga’s Lentz-Eggers Gym on Jan. 28.

Watauga’s Taylor Lipford provided much of the Pioneers’ offense by scoring 22 points. Lipford made 8-of-13 of her shots, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range. Lipford scored eight of her points in a first half that the saw Pioneers take a 31-20 halftime lead.

“The way Taylor Lipford shot the ball was really great for us,” Watauga coach Laura Barry said. “The thing is that Taylor can shoot the ball and the thing we stay on her about is her defense. She’s got to be an impactful defensive player and she has really changed that this year.”

Two familiar sources of scoring for Watauga — Rebekah Farthing and Brooke Byrd — each finished with 12 points. Byrd made 2-of-3 3-point shots and the Pioneers made 9-of-18 from beyond the arc.

“I love the way Brooke played tonight by just being attack-minded,” Watauga coach Laura Barry said. “She was able to attack the seams in the zone. It didn’t always go her way, but I like the mindset.”

Watauga’s defense was equally impressive. The Pioneers (13-5, 6-2 Northwestern Conference) forced 33 turnovers, 18 in the first half. Watauga outscored Alexander Central 49-9 in points scored off turnovers and Watauga racked up 24 steals. Farthing had eight steals and Byrd finished with six.

“It really looked like we wanted to turn them up on defense,” Barry said. “We tried to do that last week. We refocused on it and we tweaked a little of the understanding of what we wanted to do. I love the way we guarded the ball. I love the way we trapped the ball and really I love the way we ran the ball off of transitions and scored.”

Watauga’s offense was limited to 39.0 percent shooting, but the Cougars were limited to 41.5 percent shooting from the field.

Watauga also outscored Alexander Central 28-24 in the paint and outscored the Cougars 18-6 in fast break points.

Alexander Central (11-8, 3-4 NWC) fell behind 13-4, but scored the last four points in the first quarter and trailed 13-8. Watauga, leading 17-14 early in the second quarter, closed out the final 4:43 of the second period with a 14-6 run to take its 11-point halftime lead.

Watauga outscored Alexander Central 17-8 in the third quarter and led 48-28 going into the fourth.

The Cougars got 10 points from Nikki Hagy and eight each from Sydney Hayes and Teagan Pennell.

Watauga girls 63, Alexander Central 40

Alexander Central 40 (11-8, 3-4 NWC)

Harrington 1-2, 0-0 2, Jenkins 0-1 1-2 1, Hmmer 1-4,, 0-2 2, Stikeleather 1-5 0-0 2, Hayes 3-10 0-0 8, Fairchild 2-2 0-0 4, R. Pennell 1-2 0-2 3, Fortner 0-0 0-0 0, T. Pennell 3-5 0-2 8, Glenn 0-1 0-0 0, Hagy 5-9 0-0 10. Totals 17-41 1-8 40.

Watauga 63 (13-5, 6-2 NWC)

Farthing 4-12 4-9 12, Hodges 1-5 1-3 3, Byrd 5-12 0-1 12, Sturgill 3-6 0-2 7, Lipford 8-13 0-0 22, Reece 0-0 0-0 0, Ward 0-2 2-3 2, Keller 0-0 0-0 0, Williamson 1-1 0-0 2, Lubsen 0-1 0-0 0, C. Farthing 0-3 0-0 0, Scheffler 1-3 0-0 2, Pruess 0-0 0-0 0, Coffey 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 23-59 8-20 63.

Alex. Central 8 12 8 12 — 40

Watauga 13 18 17 15 — 63

3-point goals—Alex Central 5-14 (Pennell 2-2, Hayes 2-6, R. Pennell 1-1, Harrington 0-1, Stikeleather 0-1, Hammer 0-3), Watauga—9-18 (Lipford 6-11, Byrd 2-3, Sturgill 1-1, R. Farthing 0-1, C. Farthing 0-2). Rebounds—Alex Central 35 (Jenkins 7), Watauga 35 (Three with five). Assists—Alex Central 13 (Hammer 3), Watauga 16 (Hodges 4). Total fouls—Alex Central 16 (Hammer 4), Watauga 12 (Farthing, Ward 3). Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.