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Originally published: 2013-01-12 05:39:51
Last modified: 2013-01-12 05:40:47

Pioneers beat Alexander Central in overtime

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

TAYLORSVILLE — Watauga’s first two overtime games did not go so well. The Pioneers made sure Friday night at Alexander Central that their third overtime game would be different.


Watauga beat Northwestern Conference rival Alexander Central 50-42 in overtime by combining two DeWayne Mackey 3-point baskets with seven straight Watauga foul shots. The Pioneers (7-4, 1-1 NWC), who lost back-to-back overtime games to Hickory and West Wilkes, did not give up a point in Alexander Central’s four final possessions.


“One of the things that I love about this team is that they have no quit in them,” Pioneers coach Rob Sanders said. “Somebody, every night when we’re in one of those games, and it’s not always the same person, but somebody always finds a way to get it done and tonight it was DeWayne.”


Mackey, who scored 11 of his 22 points in the overtime period, put Alexander Central in a hole in the beginning of the extra period by making back-to-back 3-point shots. The second 3-pointer that gave the Pioneers a 43-38 lead.


Alexander Central (7-9, 0-4) closed the Watauga lead to 43-42, but a Matt Quigley basket would be the last shot Alexander Central would make.


Mackey started to solidify Watauga’s victory by making three straight foul shots to put the Pioneers in front 46-42. Two more foul shots from Ben Margolis, combined with two final Mackey free throws with 21.2 seconds left, solidified the Pioneers’ victory.


Watauga seemed ready to win the game in regulation when a Margolis basket with 3:25 left in the fourth quarter gave the Pioneers a 37-31 lead. While Alexander Central was scoring the next six points to force the overtime, Watauga was failing to score on its final nine possessions of the game.


Alexander Central did not help itself by making just 10-of-25 (40 percent) free throws. The Cougars shot better from the field, 44.1 percent (14-of-34), than from the foul line.

Watauga made 9-of-18 from the foul line.


“I don’t know what else you can say,” Alexander Central coach Ed Wills said. “You work hard to get into the position to get to the line and you can’t shoot 40 percent. It’s disappointing because we played really hard and so did Watauga. It was a hard-fought game.”


Watauga also hurt Alexander Central by making 9-of-22 from 3-point range, while Alexander Central hit just 2-of-14 from the beyond the 3-point arc.


No other Pioneer scored in double figures. Eli Gailes and Matt Lambert each came off the bench to score six points. Mackey grabbed a team-high six of Watauga’s 27 rebounds.

Watauga’s offense struggled for most of the game because of Alexander Central’s matchup zone. The Pioneers were held to just five points in the first quarter, but held Alexander Central to five points in the second quarter and led 17-15 at halftime.


Neither team scored more than 15 points in a quarter.


“We were not very successful getting the ball inside, really all night,” Sanders said. “We had several opportunities to get the ball to the guys on the blocks. Either we didn’t work hard enough to get position for the entry pass and we either ended up turning the ball over on the pass or missing the short shot on the block.”


Alexander Central got 15 points from Luke Bean and 14 points from Quigley, who also pulled down seven rebounds.

 

Watauga boys 50, Alexander Central 42

Watauga (7-4, 1-1)

Margolis 1-4 2-3 5, Koppenhaver 0-3 0-2 0, Baker 1-5 0-0 2, Howser 1-6 0-0 3, Mackey 6-14 6-8 22, Harrill 1-5 0-0 2, Steury 1-3 0-3 2, Sturgill 1-3 0-3 2, Gailes 2-3 0-0 6, Augustine 1-2 0-0 2, Lambert 2-5 1-2 6. Totals 16-50 9-18 50.

Alexander Central (7-9, 0-4)

Smith 1-3 4-6 6, Quigley 6-8 2-8 14, Bean 6-8 2-5 15, Watts 1-6 0-0 3, Miller 0-4 0-1 0, Gant 0-1 2-4 2, Bowman 0-1 0-2 0, Wall 1-1 0-0 2, Starnes 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 15-34 10-25 42.

Watauga          5 12 15 5 13 — 50

Alexander Central       10 5 9 13 5 — 42

3-point goals—Watauga 9-22 (Mackey 4-8 Gailes 2-2, Lambert 1-1, Howser 1-2, Margolis 1-4, Baker 0-2), Alexander Central 2-14 (Bean 1-3, Watts 1-5, Smith 0-1, Quigley 0-1, Gant 0-1, Starnes 0-1). Rebounds—Watauga 27 (Mackey 6), Alexander Central 26 (Quigley 7). Assists—Watauga 12 (Baker 4), Alexander Central 5 (Bean 2). Turnovers—Watauga 16, Alexander Central 16. Total fouls—Watauga 21, Alexander Central 18. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—Watauga, Sturgill.