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Originally published: 2013-01-12 05:36:50
Last modified: 2013-01-12 05:37:34

Alexander Central girls pull away from Watauga

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

TAYLORSVILLE — Things looked promising for Watauga’s girls’ basketball team Friday night. The Pioneers were competitive with a strong Alexander Central team despite playing their third road game.

Alexander Central would end that in the second quarter. The Cougars got some separation in the second quarter of their 56-39 victory over Watauga.

Watauga (5-6, 0-2 NWC) is 1-2 in its six-game road trip. The Pioneers play at South Caldwell on Tuesday.

Alexander Central (13-2, 2-1 NWC) shot 70.6 percent from the field (12-of-17) in the first half. It allowed the Cougars to take a 31-22 lead in the first half after the Pioneers overcame a quiet start, but came back to tie the game 14-14.

Watauga was not so successful. The Pioneers made just 26.7 percent from the field (8-of-30) in the first half, and 29.1 percent for the game.

“We knew that Alexander Central would try to start fast and they did,” Pioneers coach Klay Anderson said. “We knew what they had on the inside and outside. In the second quarter with about four minutes to go, we had several shots that were within five feet and we just couldn’t make them.”

Savanna Wood led the Pioneers in scoring with 22 points after making three 3-point baskets. Wood was the only Watauga player who scored in double figures.

Hannah Margolis added seven points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Anderson recalled when Wood scored the first five points of the second half in the Pioneers’ win over Avery. He felt that was the point when Wood started to develop into a primary offensive threat for the Pioneers.

Since then, Wood scored 25 points in a loss to Wilkes Central and 18 in a victory over Ashe.

“We were talking and I felt those five points she scored at Avery were the ones who got her going,” Anderson said. “Ever since then, she’s been a very consistent double digit scorer. She’s had several games of 20-plus points and 15-plus. When she does that, it makes us play better.”

Watauga’s defense struggled with Alexander Central center Madi Suddreth. She made seven out of eight of her shots and finished with 17 points. Suddreth tied with Brooke Sharpe with five rebounds.

Marie Ritchie and Kelsie Rhyne each scored 10 points for the Cougars. Maty Sezter made three 3-pointers and finished with nine points.

Watauga trailed 40-29 at the end of the third quarter but got baskets from Clare Harris and Wood to pull to 40-33. It was the closest Watauga would get to the Cougars.

Alexander Central went on an 8-0 run to take a 48-33 lead Watauga would not threaten.

“We had a shot to get within four or five and we missed that shot and missed several opportunities late in close,” Anderson said. “You can’t do that against anybody much less against a team as gifted as Alexander Central.”


Alexander Central girls 56, Watauga 39

Watauga (5-6, 0-1)

Wood 9-22 1-1 22, Derrick 1-1 0-0 2, Margolis 2-13 3-4 7, McNeill 2-6 0-0 4, Welsh 1-5 0-0 2, Wallace 0-5 0-0 0, Westphal 0-1 0-0 0, Harris 1-2 0-0 2, Makarova 0-3 0-0 0, Loflin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-55 4-5 39.

Alexander Central (13-2, 2-1)

Ritchie 4-9 2-3 10, Sharpe 0-3 3-4 3, Ryhne 3-5 3-6 10, Setzer 3-8 0-0 9, Suddreth 7-8 3-5 17, Wike 1-2 0-0 3, Ferguson 1-2 0-0 3, Dula 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Detter 0-0 0-0 0, Blakenship 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-39 12-20 56.

Watauga          14 8 7 10 — 39

Alexander Central       14 17 9 16 — 56

3-point goals—Watauga 3-10 (Wood 3-7, Wallace 0-1, Margolis 0-2), Alexander Central 6-19 (Setzer 3-8, Wike 1-2, Ferguson 1-2, Rhyne 1-3). Rebounds—Watauga 28 (Margolis 10), Alexander Central 26 (Sharpe, Suddreth 5). Assists—Watauga 5 (Margolis 3), Alexander Central 12 (Ritchie 5). Turnovers—Watauga 18, Alexander Central 21. Total fouls—Watauga 16, Alexander Central 9. Fouled out—Watauga, Welsh. Technical fouls—Alexander Central, team.