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Originally published: 2012-11-24 00:14:42
Last modified: 2012-11-24 00:14:42

WHS boys' JVs run away from Bulldogs

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

WEST JEFFERSON — Sometimes, Watauga’s boys’ junior varsity plays too fast. When the Pioneers slow down to the right speed, they can be tough to defend.

Watauga was playing too fast in the first half of its game with Hampton in the first round of the Ashe Junior Varsity Invitational Friday. The Pioneers were making baskets, but also making too many mistakes handling the ball.

They settled down in the third quarter and the extra calm allowed the Pioneers to take a 60-42 victory. Watauga (2-0) extended its overall winning streak to 26 games.

Many of the 24 victories Watauga collected were won by working the ball up the court quickly and getting easy baskets. Hampton (1-1) actually played into Watauga’s hands Friday by applying a full-court press, but the Pioneers struggled with it at times and found themselves down 14-13 by the end of the first quarter.

“We play fast and with us being so young, we were making young mistakes,” Pioneers Jerry Moretz said. “We needed to slow things down a bit so our younger players can get used to it, so we can have that extra gear when we need it.”

The Pioneers played under more control in the third quarter and it paid off. Watauga outscored the Bulldogs 18-9 in the third quarter, including steal by Utah Jones, who found Aaron Dobbins, who passed the ball to T.J. Poulos.

Poulos scored the easy layup to put Watauga in front 47-27. The Pioneers eventually took a 51-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

“Our game plan is to always press,” Hampton coach Lucas Andrews said. “They’re going to learn the press as soon as they walked through the door. We’re small, we’re quick and we’re ready to go.”

Dobbins led all scorers with 17 points despite sitting most of the fourth quarter out. T.J. Poulos added eight points despite sitting out the fourth because of a sprained ankle. He’s not expected to play tonight when the Pioneers play in the finals beginning at 7 p.m.

All but one of the Pioneers scored at least two points against the Bulldogs. Hampton got 14 points from Tyler Moody and nine from Dalton Cardon.

Watauga took a quick 8-2 lead, but found itself behind by one at the end of the first quarter. The Pioneers started to lull away from Hampton from the foul line in the second quarter. Watauga made 9-of-16 from the foul line in the quarter and led 33-23 at halftime.

 “We decided at halftime that when we got into halfcourt we were going to slow ourselves down and turn to our inside scoring with Aaron and Levi (Wilcox),” Moretz said. “I thought our guys bought into it and executed it pretty well.”


Watauga JV boys 60, Hampton 42

Hampton (1-1)

Hill 1 0-0 2, Cardon 4 0-0 9, Jones 2 0-0 4, Moody 7 0-1 14, Rose 1 0-0 2, Hutchinson 0 0-2 0, Lunford 2 0-0 5, Russell 1 2-3 4, Pearce 0 0-0 0, Guy 0 3-6 3. Totals 18 5-12 42.

Watauga (2-0)

Russell 1 0-0 2, Shore 1 1-3 3, Carmichael 1 0-0 2, Sherman 1 0-0 3, Cobb 0 1-2 1, Poulos 4 0-0 8, Valet 1 1-3 3, Dobbins 7 3-3 17, Jones 2 3-4 7, Ebaugh 0 2-4 2, Bryson 1 3-5 5, Tyndall 2 1-4 5, Wilcox 0 2-4 2, Powers 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 17-32 60.

Hampton         14 10 9 10 — 42

Watauga          13 20 18 9 — 60

3-point goals—Hampton 2 (Cardon, Linsford), Watauga 1 (Sherman). Total fouls—Hampton 22, Watauga 15. Fouled out—Hampton, Pearce, Jones. Technical fouls—Cobb.