Patton girls trip up Pioneers
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Watauga's girls' basketball team fell to Patton 71-62 in Northwestern Conference action Friday at Lentz-Eggers Gym.
Watauga (7-15, 5-7 NWC) took a 33-32 halftime lead, but Patton started the third quarter with a 7-2 run and never gave the Pioneers the lead back.
Patton (10-11, 6-6) found its range from the outside by making eight 3-point baskets. The Panthers made three of them in the first quarter and took a 22-15 lead.
"I'll dream about 3-point shots tonight," Watauga coach Klay Anderson said. "I think they had four or five and-ones too. That kills you. That kills any momentum you have."
Watauga struck back in the second quarter by opening the period with a 10-3 run. Savanna Wood made back-to-back steals that led to three points, and Ryan Loflin capped the run with a basket following a Patton turnover to give the Pioneers a 25-25 tie.
After falling behind 32-28, Loflin scored the final five points of the quarter to give the Pioneers a 33-32 halftime lead.
"We got out and we ran," Anderson said. "I know that's Patton's game, but when we go four guards, we've got to kind of unleash ourselves a bit, too. We had to fight the whole first half to get the lead and unfortunately, in the second half we could not make enough shots to keep up with Patton."
Loflin, who shook off an injured tailbone she fell on in the third quarter to return later, scored 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the Pioneers. Wood and Kaelin McNeill scored 10 points each for Watauga. McNeill also pulled down 16 rebounds.
"We played our guts out tonight," Anderson said. "We played as hard and as fast and as physical as we could play."
Ansley Rooks and Lindsay Adams led four Patton players in double figures with 17 points each. Taylor Chapman scored 14 and Malarie Talent scored 10 for the Panthers.
Watauga faces arguably the toughest test available to a girls' basketball team on Tuesday when the Pioneers play at Hickory. The Red Tornadoes were 18-0 overall, 11-0 in the NWC going into their game with Fred T. Foard, which was 1-16 before tip-off.
Hickory is also ranked No. 2 in the ncpreps.com 3-A poll.
Anderson was hoping the Pioneers could win two of their final three games and possibly host a first-round game in the NWC tournament. Beating Patton and then possibly beating South Caldwell, which the Pioneers host on Feb. 14, would have been tough enough.
Including Hickory in that mix is even tougher.
"We wanted to win the final two out of three to win the fourth seed and host the first round," Anderson said. "If we win both of them next week, we'll still get the fourth seed. Worst-case scenario, if we want to play St. Stephens and get revenge, we've got to win one of two. Right now, we're not concerned about that. We are concerned about bringing the energy we had tonight to practice on Monday and getting ready for Hickory."
Patton girls 71, Watauga 62
Patton 71 (10-11, 6-6)
Bauer 1 2-2 4, Tallent 3 2-2 10, LcCroy 1 0-0 2, Rooks 5 6-8 17, Putnam 2 1-1 5, Chapman 5 2-3 14, Lynn 0 2-2 2, Adams 6 2-5 17. Totals 22 17-23 71.
Watauga 62 (7-15, 5-7)
Wood 3 5-9 10, Derrick 4 0-0 8, Harris 2 0-2 4, Carroll 2 0-0 4, Farthing 1 0-0 2, McNeill 4 2-2 10, Brown 0 0-0 0, Stapleton 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Foutz 1 0-0 3, Millsaps 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 12-21 62.
Patton 22 10 20 19 -- 71
Watauga 15 18 16 13 -- 62
3-point goals--Patton 8 (Adams 3, Chapman 2, Tallent 2, Rooks), Watauga 2 (Wood, Foutz). Total fouls--Patton 15, Watauga 17. Fouled out--Watauga, Derrick. Technical fouls--None.