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Originally published: 2014-02-01 05:13:36
Last modified: 2014-02-01 05:14:22

Freedom girls pull away from Pioneers

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Watauga's girls' basketball team kept up with heavily favored Freedom for a half, but could not keep up all game in a 58-42 loss Friday in Northwestern Conference action at Lentz-Eggers Gym.

Watauga (5-14 overall, 3-6 NWC) did not completely collapse to Freedom (13-5, 8-1). The Patriots gradually took a 28-23 halftime lead and then increased it to 42-33 in the third quarter after the Pioneers went through a six-possession drought.

Freedom took advantage of it by going on an 11-0 run and taking a 39-29 lead. Just before that stretch, Watauga opened the second half with a 6-0 run that was capped by a Ryan Loflin basket that put the Pioneers in front 29-28.

"I was really proud of a lot of things we did tonight," Pioneers coach Klay Anderson said. "The turning point was when we came out and started a 6-0 run at the beginning of the second half, then the next thing you know they turned us over the next three or four or five times in a row, which led to layups."

Loflin scored on a stickback to break Freedom's run, but the Pioneers would only score one more time in the final 3:32 of the third quarter and trailed by nine going into the fourth quarter.

Freedom put the final touch on its win by going on a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to take a commanding 54-36 lead.

Loflin led the Pioneers in scoring with 18 points. She made seven shots from the field, many on either stickbacks or drives to the basket.

Savanna Wood, Tori Derrick and Clare Harris each scored eight points. Harris was playing in her second game since returning from a wrist injury.

 "I thought Ryan did a lot of good things," Anderson said. "They were playing tight man-to-man on Savanna, which they should have. Ryan did a good job of running our offense and was getting us some open looks. You can't get more open than we did in the third quarter. We just couldn't convert it."

Ariyana Williams scored a game-high 19 points. Krissy Surratt scored nine points, while both Amaryah Corpening and Taylor Gardin each scored eight.

"I'm proud of how we did," Anderson said. "We were in the game early and we stayed in the game. If it wasn't for our scoring slumps, we would have been in it until the end."

Watauga plays at Hibriten on Tuesday. The Pioneers beat Hibriten 49-31 on Jan. 10 after opening the game with a 20-1 first-quarter lead.

 

Freedom girls 58, Watauga 42

Freedom 58 (13-5, 8-1)

Corpening 3 2-2 8, Williams 7 2-2 19, Pearson 0 2-2 2, Yamouti 0-2 0, Mills 3 2-5 8, Gardin 2 3-4 8, Surratt 3 3-3 9, Rhoney 1 2-2 4, Mathes 0 0-0 0, Freeman 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 16-22 58.

Watauga 42 (5-14 3-6)

Wood 3 0-0 8, Derrick 4 0-0 8, Harris 3 2-4 8, Loflin 7 4-5 18, Carroll 0 0-0 0, Farthing 0 0-0 0, McNeill 0 0-0 0, Stapleton 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Foutz 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 6-9 42.

Freedom          17 11 14 16 -- 58

Watauga          16   7 10   9 -- 42

3-point goals--Freedom 4 (Williams 3, Gardin), Watauga 2 (Wood 2). Total fouls--Freedom 13, Watauga 17. Fouled out--Watauga, Farthing. Technical fouls--None.