South Caldwell girls' basketball team pulls away from WHS
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
SAWMILLS -- Watauga girls' basketball scorer Savanna Wood is going to see plenty of tough defense during the stretch run of the Pioneers' schedule.
It was the case Wednesday night at South Caldwell, but the senior guard had to deal with other issues. Wood suffered concussion-like symptoms after a collision with South Caldwell point guard Blake Gosnell in the second-quarter and was limited to a single point in Watauga's 44-26 loss at South Caldwell Wednesday.
Wood, who has signed a national letter of intent to play golf at Appalachian State, was injured in the second quarter and was kept out of the second half of the game.
Watauga coach Klay Anderson said he talked with the South Caldwell trainer and asked what he would recommend to South Caldwell head coach Jeff Parham had Wood been one of Parham's players.
The trainer recommended that Wood sit out, according to Anderson.
"Her and Blake in the second quarter collided at the top of the key," Anderson said. "Unbeknownst to us, they actually kind of hit temple-to-temple. During the first half, Savanna said she felt a little dizzy, so at halftime the South Caldwell trainer looked at her and he said, 'Coach, she's talking like she has symptoms of it.' I said, 'Tell me what you would say to Jeff Parham if it was his girl.' He said, 'I'd recommend that she sit out.' I'm not going to go against a medical professional, so we were very cautious with what I'm going to say were concussion-like symptoms."
Wood missed four games in the first half of the season because of a sprained ankle. She returned and averaged 13 points per game going into the Pioneers' showdown with South Caldwell.
Watauga (5-12, 3-4 NWC) was already shorthanded after losing Clare Harris seven games ago to a broken wrist injury.
"I hate it for Savanna because it's her senior year and she already came back from an injured ankle," Anderson said. "I hate it for Clare too, but we're going to keep playing hard. (WHS football coach) Ryan Habich always says, 'Next man up.' So, for us, it's next man up and if we play as hard as we can play tonight -- we just didn't have much offense."
Even without their top scorer in the lineup, the Pioneers still trailed just 18-13 in the first half. Watauga closed out the first half with a basket from Ryan Loflin and a foul shot from Wood with 19.6 left.
The third quarter proved to be different. South Caldwell (11-5, 4-2) scored the first 13 points of the period before Watauga, which went 10 possessions without scoring a point, finally broke through with back-to-back baskets from Athena Millsaps.
South Caldwell held a 31-17 lead going into the fourth quarter and opened the period with a 9-0 run to take a 40-17 lead. Rachel Foutz stopped the run with a 3-point basket with 2:51 left in the game.
"At first, both teams were sluggish in the first half," Parham said. "We built a five-point lead at halftime, but coming out in the third quarter I challenged the girls and thought we stepped up our intensity defensively. We also got smarter on the offensive end and started making better passes."
Loflin led the Pioneers in scoring with nine points, while Foutz added six points on two fourth-quarter 3-point baskets. Sydney Farthing also scored six points.
Courtney Wood led all scorers with 15 points. She also pulled down 11 rebounds, three that she turned into six stickback points.
"Courtney got her points from offensive rebounds," Anderson said. "She's so long and so tall."
Watauga plays at St. Stephens Friday night.
South Caldwell girls 44, Watauga 26
Watauga 26 (5-12, 3-4)
Millsaps 2 0-0 4, Wood 0 1-2 1, Loflin 4 1-2 9, Farthing 2 2-2 6, Foutz 2 0-0 6, Derrick 0 0-0 0, Carroll 0 0-0 0, McNeill 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Stapleton 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 4-6 26.
South Caldwell 44 (11-5, 4-2)
Annas 1 0-0 2, Gosnell 2 0-0 5, Bollinger 1 1-2 4, Raby 1 2-2 4, Wood 5 5-7 15, Everhart 5 1-2 11, McMurry 0 0-0 0, Lockhart 0 0-0 0, Parham 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 9-13 44.
Watauga 7 6 4 9 -- 26
South Caldwell 5 13 13 13 -- 33
3-point goals--Watauga 2 (Foutz 2), South Caldwell 2 (Gosnell, Bollinger). Rebounds--Watauga 27 (McNeill, Derrick 5), South Caldwell 32 (Wood 11) Total fouls--Watauga 14, South Caldwell 10. Fouled out--None. Technical fouls--None.