Foard girls hold off Watauga
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
CONOVER — Watauga’s girls’ basketball team was able to contend with Fred T. Foard’s height advantage. Making mistakes at key times provided Watauga’s final demise.
The Pioneers kept up with Foard up to the final 20 seconds of the game, but could not overcome the Tigers and lost 46-42 Wednesday at Jerry Copas Gym.
The Pioneers, who were blasted 64-37 one day earlier at Hickory, had to contend with four Foard players who stand at least 5-foot-10. Watauga was able to do that by making two 3-point shots and by making 10-of-17 shots.
Foard was often content to shoot from the outside against the Pioneers’ 2-3 zone instead of posting up smaller players on the low blocks. Chelsea Turner, one of the Tigers’ frontcourt players, made two of Foard’s 3-point baskets and finished with 14 points.
“You negate height by playing a compact zone and getting a hand up and making yourself appear taller and longer than you are,” Pioneers coach Klay Anderson said. “High school basketball teams are going to help you with that because they are going to want to shoot the basketball if they feel they are open outside. That was our game plan — make them beat us from the outside and get every rebound. I was so proud of what we did because we stuck to the game plan. They’re going to make a three or two, but then they missed a ton of threes.”
Watauga, after falling behind 42-33 early in the fourth quarter, managed a late-game rally to pull to 44-40 on a Savanna Wood steal-and-layup with 2:20 left in the game.
But Watauga turned the ball over on its next two possessions. The Pioneers did not score again until Hannah Margolis hit a layup with 20.1 seconds left to pull the Pioneers to 45-42.
Watauga had a final chance to tie the game, but Clare Harris could not connect on a 3-point shot with five seconds left in the game. Foard took possession on the jump-ball rebound, and the Tigers got a foul shot from Chelsea Turner to end the game.
“You can always point to the little things, but there are times in that game when we had chances to make points,” Anderson said. “We left points on the free throw line. We left points on some offensive rebounds and layups that we missed. We really emphasize those little things.”
Margolis led all Watauga scorers with 15 points, and grabbed 15 rebounds. Wood added 10. Turner scored 16 points for the Tigers.
Watauga gets a second chance at Foard when the Tigers play the Pioneers at Lentz-Eggers Gym Monday. The game is makeup from Jan. 25 that was lost because of inclement weather.
Fred T. Foard girls 46, Watauga 42
Wood 3 4-6 10, Margolis 5 5-7 15, Harris 3 0-0 8, McNeill 3 0-0 6, Loflin 0 1-4 1, Welsh 1 0-0 2, Derrick 0 0-0 0, Wallace 0 0-0 0, Westphal 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 10-17 42.
Hull 1 0-2 2, Hoyle 2 1-2 7, Robinson 1 1-3 4, Whiteworth 4 3-3 11, Turner 4 4-6 14, Skeen 1 0-0 2, Tipps 3 0-1 6, Danner 0 0-0 0, Gerrys 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 9-17 46.
Watauga 13 10 10 9 — 42
Fred T. Foard 13 12 14 7 — 45
3-point goals—WHS 2 (Harris 2), Foard 5 (Hoyle 2, Turner 2, Hoyle). Total fouls—WHS 17, Foard 15. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None.