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Originally published: 2013-12-07 17:35:23
Last modified: 2013-12-07 17:58:59

Pioneers use fast start to bury Ashe

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

It seemed like Watauga's boys' basketball team was using seven or eight players at a time in the first half of its 72-43 victory over Ashe County at Lentz-Eggers Gym Friday night.
Watauga sprinted to a 46-20 halftime lead after making 17-of-23 (73 percent) shots from the field. Watauga held Ashe to 8-of-21 (38 percent) from the field during the same time.
Watauga (4-0), playing just two days after back-to-back wins over Avery and Alexander Central, cruised to a 22-8 first quarter lead after opening the game with a 12-2 run. The Pioneers missed just one shot during the run, which was capped by seven straight points by Cam Baker.
The senior small forward led all scorers with 20 points. Baker, who made two of Watauga's seven 3-pointers, had 14 points by halftime.
"We had good ball movement and we had good chemistry," Baker said. "Everybody came out knowing it was going to be a tough one because it's a rivalry, so we knew we had to come out and be on our game."
"Obviously Cam Baker came out and gave us a spark," Pioneers coach Rob Sanders said. "It seemed like he was a man on a mission tonight and we needed it."
The Pioneers needed it since Watauga was coming off a 61-59 overtime victory at Alexander Central on Wednesday. The Pioneers had a light practice on Thursday before hosting Ashe County.
Watauga faces Alexander Central again Tuesday, one day after playing a makeup game at Avery on Monday. The Alexander Central game is at Lentz-Eggers, and Watauga's game Friday is at Ashe County, meaning the Pioneers play the same three teams this week that they played last week.
Baker said he was a little tired playing on a day's rest, but didn't seem to show it.
"I was a little tired," Baker said. "That one day of break we got helped a lot, but we just have to get ready for next week. We've got the same exact teams next week. It's just the flipped schedule, so we've got to be ready to play."
Ashe (0-5) never got closer than 22 points the rest of the game. The Huskies pulled to within 54-32 late in the third quarter, but Watauga closed out the third with a basket, and then opened the fourth with a 9-0 run to claim a 65-34 lead with 5:18 left in the game.
Utah Jones added 12 points for Watauga. Matt Lambert scored 10 points, while Trevor Eggers made three 3-pointers and finished with nine points.
"Everybody pitched in," Sanders said. "We got points from Lambert down and from (Michael) Ebaugh down low. Utah helped pick us up some from the outside and I was real pleased with our pressure in our regular man-to-man defense. We were able to create run-outs and get some easy baskets."
All but one of the Pioneers reached the scoring column.
"They're long and they're athletic," Ashe coach Scott Grubb said. "We were talking the other day that their length was going to give us trouble."
Ashe got 11 points from Devan Sheets and eight points from Cullen Ashley.

Watauga BOYS 72, Ashe County 43
Ashe 43 (0-5)
Bowers 2 1-2 6, Spencer 2 0-0 5, Sheets 4 2-2 11, McNeill 1 0-0 2, Woodie 1 0-0 2, Owen 1 0-0 3, Ashley 3 2-3 8, Lucas 3 0-0 6, Sexton 0 0-0 0, Shelton 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 5-7 43.
Watauga 72 (4-0)
Harrill 1 9-2 3, Eggers 3 0-0 9, Gailes 1 0-0 2, Andrews 0 2-2 2, Poulos 2 0-0 4, Dobbins 2 1-1 5, Jones 2 7-9 12, Ebaugh 2 1-1 5, Baker 7 2-5 20, Lambert 5 0-0 10, Richardson 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 13-22 72.
Ashe      8 12 14  9 -- 43
Watauga    22 24 10 16 -- 72
3-point goals--Ashe 4 (Bowers, Spencer, Sheets, Owen), Watauga 7 Eggers 3, Baker 2, Harrill, Jones). Rebounds--Watauga 29, Ashe 28. Turnovers--Ashe 24, Watauga 13. Total fouls--Ashe 16, Watauga 14. Fouled out--None. Technical fouls--None.