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Originally published: 2013-01-09 03:31:06
Last modified: 2013-01-09 03:31:06

Pioneers fall in overtime to Wilkes Central

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

MORAVIAN FALLS — For the second time in as many games, Watauga’s boys’ basketball team faced an overtime period.


For the second time in as many games, the Pioneers could not walk away with a victory. After overcoming a 20-point deficit, Watauga fell 75-65 to host Wilkes Central Tuesday night.


Watauga, which overcame an 11-point deficit to Hickory only to lose 74-72 in overtime on Jan. 4, fell behind Wilkes Central 37-20 by halftime and 44-24 early in the third quarter. Jacob Stinson capped the run when he converted a three-point play.


“We spoke about the exact things that were happening right before the game,” Pioneers coach Rob Sanders said. “We hit a stretch there in the second quarter for whatever reason, we tend to do time in and time out when we come down here. We just stopped running offense and stopped playing defense and you get yourself into a hole.”


Watauga rallied to close to 52-51 by the end of the quarter. Cameron Baker scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the third quarter. He led a 9-0 run that sparked the quarter that saw the Pioneers outscore Wilkes Central 27-15 in the quarter.


Watauga, sparked primarily by backup guard Jay Harrill, continued in the fourth quarter by taking a five lead. Harrill, who hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third quarter, drained another to give the Pioneers a 60-55 lead with 4:49 left in the game.


Watauga’s offense struggled the rest of the game. The Pioneers, trailing 62-60, forced the overtime when Tyler Sturgill scored off an Eli Gailes assist with 32 seconds to go in regulation.


“We were fortunate that we didn’t lose our poise and we got back to running an offense and running a defense and we were able to overcome that deficit by the end of the third quarter,” Sanders said. “I asked them to get it to single digits and they did. They got it down to one going into the fourth quarter.”


Wilkes Central took over in the overtime period by outscoring Watauga 13-3. The Eagles made all nine of their foul shots in the quarter, while Watauga turned the ball over three times, and went 1-for-4 from the field.


Foul shooting was key for Wilkes Central, which made 20-of-26 from the free throw line. Watauga made 8-of-15.


“It went back and forth and we had opportunities to win it and they had opportunities to win it,” Sanders said. “Then it went to overtime and we just went cold.”


Ben Howser added 16 points for the Pioneers, while Harrill scored 12. Sturgill scored eight.

Will Cornette led all scorers with 27 points. Cornette made four of the Eagles’ five 3-point baskets in the game.


Michael Howell added 14 points and Austin Staley scored nine.


Watauga doesn’t have much time to get ready for its next game, which is tonight at Ashe.

 

Wilkes Central 75, Watauga 65

Watauga (5-3)

Harrill 5 0-1 12, Sturgill 4 0-0 8, Koppenhaver 0 1-2 1, Baker 6 5-8 18, Howser 7 2-2 16, Mackey 3 0-2 8, Lambert 1 0-0 2, Steury 0 0-0 0, Eggers 0 0-0 0, Gailes 0 0-0 0, Augustine 0 0-0 0, Margolis 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 8-15 65.

Wilkes Central

Corpening 1 0-0 2, Osborne 1 4-5 6, Cornette 8 7-8 27, Shoemaker 1 3-4 5, Bailey 1 0-0 2, Williams 1 0-0 2, Staley 3 2-2 9, Howell 6 2-5 14, Stinson 2 2-2 6, Hamilton 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 20-26 75.

Watauga          13 9 29 11 3 — 65

Wilkes Central            18 19 15 10 13 — 75

3-point goals—Watauga 5 (Harrill 2, Mackey 2, Baker), Wilkes Central 5 (Cornette 4, Staley). Total fouls—Watauga 20, Wilkes Central 13. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None.