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Originally published: 2014-01-30 22:58:23
Last modified: 2014-01-30 22:59:09

Pioneers can't shake rust in loss to Foard

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Watauga's boys' basketball team spent much of its 72-58 loss shaking off rust.

The recent inclement weather forced the Pioneers to miss practice on Wednesday, and to postpone their game with Foard from Tuesday to Thursday night.

Watauga trailed 32-22 by halftime thanks to some poor shooting. The Pioneers pulled to within seven when Jay Harrill hit a 3-point shot to start the third quarter, but rarely could stay within 10 points for most of the second half.

Another Harrill 3-pointer with 2:54 left in the game pulled Watauga to 58-50, but Foard countered with a 9-3 run to put the game away.

"We didn't practice yesterday and I think the rust really showed offensively," Pioneers coach Rob Sanders said. "That's where it going to show. When you're not able to get into the gym and get shots up, you're going to come out and not have the confidence you're normally going to have in your shot."

Watauga (12-7, 3-6 NWC) got 24 points from Harrill, who made four 3-pointers. T.J. Poulos added 11 points while Cam Baker added nine points before fouling out with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter.

Baker committed a foul and then was hit with a technical foul that left Foard with four free throws. Foard converted all four free throws to give the Tigers a 52-38 lead.

Watauga went to a smaller lineup of a combination of Jones, Harrill, Poulos, T.J. Poulos Baker and Matt Lambert for much of the night trying to push the tempo of the game. Sanders hoped it would force Foard out of a comfort zone.

Sanders said it worked for a while, but the Tigers adjusted to the faster pace.

"We got them out of their comfort zone and forced them to play a little bit quicker than they wanted to play," Sanders said. "When it came down to the situation where you had to foul to extend the game, give them credit. I don't know if they missed a free throw in the fourth quarter."

Katty Cameron scored 20 points to lead Foard (10-8, 5-4) in scoring. Tyler Johnson added 15 points and Bailey Helper sored eight.

Foard benefited by making 20-of-26 from the foul line, compared to 7-of-14 shooting by Watauga.

Watauga takes on Freedom tonight. The Patriots go into the game with a 17-0 overall record, 8-0 in the NWC.


Fred T. Foard boys 72, Watauga 58

Fred T. Foard 72 (10-8, 5-4)

Johnson 6 2-2 15, Bliss 2 2-2 7, Roper 1 0-0 2, Cameron 7 6-7 20, Hector 0 1-2 1, Reinhardt 1 0-0 2, Helper 3 2-2 8, Mahake 1 1-2 3, T. Wignington 2 3-4 7, Whitener 2 3-5 7. Totals 25 20-26 72.

Watauga 58 (12-7, 3-6)

Harrill 9 2-2 14, Eggers 1 0-0 3, Poulos 4-3 4 11, Dobbins 1 0-0 2, Jones 2 1-4 7, Ebaugh 0 0-1 0, Baker 4 1-1 9, Lambert 1 0-1 2, Ebaugh 0 0-0 0, Gailes 0 0-1 0. Totals 22 7-14 58.

Fred T. Foard  14 15 9 31 -- 72

Watauga          8 14 9 27 -- 58

3-point goals--Foard 4 (T. Wiggington 2, Bliss, Johnson), Watauga 7 (Harrill 4, Jones 2, Eggers). Total fouls--Foard 18, Watauga 24. Fouled out--Baker. Technical fouls--Baker.