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Originally published: 2013-11-27 01:35:41
Last modified: 2013-11-27 01:36:26

Watauga boys win first game of season

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

MORAVIAN FALLS -- It took a quick burst at the start of the second half to lift Watauga past Wilkes Central Tuesday night.

The visiting Pioneers went on a 9-0 run at the start of the third quarter, and used it to claim a rare 60-51 road victory over the host Eagles in Watauga's first game of the season. Watauga got a 3-point bucket from Matt Lambert, four points from Jay Harrill and two more from Eli Gailes to turn a 30-27 halftime lead into a 39-27 advantage.

Watauga eventually expanded its lead to 50-35 by the end of the third quarter, and did not allow Wilkes Central to get closer than 58-51 with less than 30 seconds left in the game.

"That's what we asked for coming out of halftime," Watauga coach Rob Sanders said. "We put it together on both ends of the court. We were starting to heat up and starting to shoot the ball well, and if we could just get off our man better and shut down dribble penetration, we could use our size and we'll go on a run."

Watauga's outside shooting had a lot to do with the Pioneers' success in the second half. Watauga finished with 10 3-pointers overall, three each from Trevor Eggers and Utah Jones.

Jones' 3-point baskets, all made in the first half, accounted for all of his nine points. Eggers finished with 13 points after scoring seven points in the first half.

Watauga's Jay Harrill made two 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. Lambert and Cam Baker each scored eight points for the Pioneers.

"At the beginning of the game, we had said that basketball is all about runs," Harrill said. "We had to stop runs and rebound. In the first half, it was back and forth and we said at halftime we had to come out and make an 8-0 run. I think we had a (16-5) run and that gave us a good start (in the second half) to go."

It was enough to keep the Eagles from ever retaking a first-half lead. Devan Bailey led Wilkes Central with 18 points, while Michael Howell added 15 points. Isaiah Osborne added 11 points.

Watauga was tied 11-11 after the first quarter, but fell behind 19-14 early in the second quarter. Watauga trailed 21-17, but went on a 9-0 run capped by a Jones 3-pointer to claim a 28-21. Wilkes Central rallied, but still trailed the Pioneers 30-27 at halftime.

Watauga faces a busy schedule next week, starting Dec. 3 with a home game against Avery. The Pioneers play at Alexander Central one day later and host Ashe County on Dec. 6.


Watauga boys 60, Wilkes Central 51

Watauga 60 (1-0)

Harrill 5 4-4 16, Eggers 4 2-2 13, Gailes 1 1-2 3, Poulos 0 0-0 0, Dobbins 2 0-0 4, Jones 3 0-0 9, Ebaugh 0 0-0 0, Baker 4 0-0 8, Lambert 3 0-0 8. Totals 22 7-8 60.

Wilkes Central 51 (0-1)

Courts 1 0-0 2, Osborne 3 5-6 11, Bailey 7 3-3 18, Nunn 1 0-0 2, Vestal 1 0-0 3, Howell 4 7-10 15, Weston 0 0-0 0, Colbert 0 0-0 0, Gowan 0 0-0 0, Lowe 0 0-0 0, Hamilton 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 15-19 51.

Watauga          11 19 20 10 -- 60

Wilkes Central            11 16 8 16 -- 51

3-point goals--Watauga 10 (Eggers 3, Jones 3, Harrill 2, Lambert 2), Wilkes Central 2 (Bailey, Vestal). Rebounds--Watauga 27 (Harrill 6), Wilkes Central 24. Turnovers--Turnovers--Watauga 15, Wilkes Central 7. Total fouls--Watauga 20, Wilkes Central 12. Fouled out--None. Technical fouls--None.