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Originally published: 2014-01-12 22:58:29
Last modified: 2014-01-12 22:59:14

Watauga boys' basketball team beats Hibriten

by Staff Reports

Watauga's boys' basketball team is used to coming back from large deficits, especially when the Pioneers fall behind in the first half.
After falling behind by 23 to Freedom on Tuesday, Watauga fell behind by 12 in the first quarter Friday night. And as the Pioneers did against Freedom, they mounted a comeback against Hibriten.
The Pioneers also grabbed their first Northwestern Conference victory during the season. Watauga improved to 10-4 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.
This time, unlike at Freedom, the Pioneers' comeback landed them a victory. Watauga caught the Panthers for good in the fourth quarter and managed to claim a 64-53 victory at Lentz-Eggers Gym.
The Pioneers, who ended up losing to Freedom 82-71 after slicing a 23-point deficit to four, were able to pass the Panthers after originally falling behind 15-3 in the first quarter. This time, Watauga scored 29 points in the second quarter and claimed a 32-27 halftime lead.
Watauga tied the game 53-53 on a Utah Jones steal-and-layup with 4:32 left in the game.
Jones' basket started a 13-0 Watauga run that closed out the game. Watauga made seven foul shots in the final 2:04 to finish the Panthers off for good.
Watauga is no stranger to beating Hibriten (6-4, 2-2 NWC). The Pioneers have taken eight straight from Hibriten, including a nonconference victory over them in the Colvard Oil Holiday Classic on Dec. 28.
Jay Harrill led the Mountaineers in scoring with 21 points. Harrill also grabbed seven rebounds and two steals.
Cam Baker added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Matt Lambert added six.
Kel Berry scored 19 points for Hibriten, including nine points in the third quarter. Drake Felder added 11 points, and Bishup Walton scored 11 points, all in the first half.
Watauga plays at Patton on Tuesday in a change from the Pioneers' original schedule. Patton was supposed to play at Watauga, but the game was moved because of final exams.
Tuesday's games will be varsity only. The girls' game starts at 5 p.m., while the boys' game starts about 10 minutes after the girls' game's conclusion.
Watauga's junior varsity team lost to Hibriten 50-36. Caleb Bryson scored 16 points for the Pioneers. Levi Wilcox scored six points and Harrison Cobb scored five.