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Originally published: 2013-02-05 23:43:25
Last modified: 2013-02-05 23:43:25

Big first half carries Pioneers

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Watauga boys’ basketball coach Rob Sanders saw how efficient the Pioneers’ can be in the first half of their 58-41 victory over Alexander Central Tuesday night at Lentz-Eggers Gym.

He also saw what can happen with the Pioneers lose their focus in the third quarter.

Watauga pulled away for a 40-19 halftime lead after forcing 13 first-half, Alexander Central turnovers. The Pioneers, leading 22-14, stole the ball away from the Cougars five straight possessions, which fueled a 13-0 run. DeWayne Mackey converted a Cam Baker steal into a 3-point basket and a 35-14 lead.

Baker led the Pioneers in scoring with 15 points. He scored eight of them in the first half, and dished out six assists in the game.

One of those assists was to Ben Howser on a dunk in the first quarter that gave the Pioneers a 22-14 lead with 2:33 left in the period. Howser finished with nine points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Baker also grabbed seven rebounds and six steals.

Alexander Central made things somewhat interesting in the second half by outscoring Watauga 12-3 in the third quarter. Watauga did not score a point in the third until 2:30 left in the quarter when Tyler Sturgill made a foul shot.

Sturgill added a basket with 16 seconds left in the quarter to give the Pioneers a 43-31 lead at the end of the third. Watauga turned the ball over six times and made just 1-for-7 from the field.

The Pioneers rebuilt their lead to 50-31 with a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter. The Cougars never got closer than 15 points the rest of the game.

Alexander Central got 11 points from Ty Ireland and seven points from Duron Hall, who made two of the Cougars’ 3-point shots.

Watauga buried eight 3-point shots, including three from Mackey. The senior point guard finished with 11 points.

Watauga hosts Fred T. Foard tonight in a makeup game. It is the second of three home games for the Pioneers. Watauga also hosts South Caldwell on Friday.

 

Watauga boys 58, Alexander Central 41

Alexander Central

Bean 1 0-0 2, Ireland 4 2-2 11, Smith 0 2-2 2, Bowman 1 1-1 3, Quigley 1 3-4 5, Watts 1 0-0 3, Hall 2 1-2 7, Starnes 3 0-2 6, R. Miller 0 0-0 0, Stikeleather 0 0-0 0, Gant 0 0-0 0, D. Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 11-15 41.

Watauga

Steury 1 0-1 3, Sturgill 2 1-3 5, Gailes 0 1-2 1, Augustine 1 4-4 6, Margolis 2 0-0 6, Baker 6 2-5 15, Howser 4 0-2 9, Mackey 4 0-0 11, Lamber 1 0-0 2, Koppenhaver 0 0-0 0, Harrill 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 8-17 58.

Alexander Central       14 5 12 10 — 41

Watauga          22 18 3 15 — 58

3-point goals—Alexander Central 4 (Hall 2, Watts, Ireland), Watauga 8 (Mackey 3, Margolis 2, Steury, Baker, Howser). Total fouls—Alexander Central 16, Watauga 14. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None.