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Originally published: 2012-11-20 02:20:16
Last modified: 2012-11-20 17:17:16

Watauga girls' basketball team slips past Avery

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Watauga’s girls’ basketball team battled with Avery all the way down to the final 11.1 seconds before Watauga could finally put visiting Avery away at Lentz-Eggers Gym.
It took a hustling play by Hannah Margolis that eventually got the Pioneers their final lead. Margolis sealed the Pioneers’ 48-45 win over an Avery team that refused to give up, even when the Pioneers made some critical baskets in the game’s final minute.
“What a fantastic night here at Lentz-Eggers Gym,” Pioneers coach Klay Anderson said. “My girls fought and battled and what can you say?”
Watauga (1-0) 41-38 following two Margolis foul shots with 1:11 left. Avery came back with a pair of foul shots from Kelsie Clark and Bre Heaton, the second pair coming with 57.1 seconds left in the game.
The Pioneers struck back with a 3-point shot from Savanna Wood, which put the Pioneers in front 44-42 and electrified the Watauga crowd with 46.0 seconds left. Avery’s Katie Rigdon silenced Watauga’s crowd, and lit up the Vikings’ faithful with a 3-point answer, putting the Vikings in front 45-44.
“What a great atmosphere,” Anderson said of the crowd. “I tip my hat to Avery. They played awesome as well. They were knocking down shots when we were kind of pull away just a little bit. It’s one of those games when it (stinks) that somebody has to lose, but it feels pretty darned good that we’re on the winning end tonight.”
Avery’s good fortune seemed to be strong when Margolis missed a shot on the other end of the court. But Margolis saved the ball before it went out of bounds to teammate Danielle Welsh, who calmly put the ball in the basket for a 46-45 Watauga lead with 11.1 seconds to go.
“That ball she saved inbounds had no business going to Danielle, but that’s what happens when you battle,” Anderson said. “It’s not just the right place at the right time. It’s battling to get to a spot where if the ball comes around, good things will happen.”
Avery missed the front end of a one-and-one foul shot, and Margolis hit two foul shots with 1.0 seconds left to clinch Watauga’s victory.
Margolis, who scored just two points in the first half on a pair of foul shots, finished with 14 points overall, eight of them in the fourth quarter. She made 8-of-11 free throws for the Pioneers, who made 14-of-24 overall.
Margolis also pulled down nine of the Pioneers’ 29 rebounds.
Watauga also got 11 points from Wood, including three of the Pioneers’ four 3-point shots. Welsh chipped in seven more.
Avery (0-1) got 15 points from Heaton and seven from Haley Woody before she fouled out. Woody also pulled down seven rebounds.
Watauga won’t play again until Nov. 27 when the Pioneers host Wilkes Central. The Eagles were the runner-up in the 2-A state championship game last season.
Watauga also hosts its border rival to the East on Nov. 30 when the Pioneers play Ashe County. Watauga’s first road game is Dec. 4 at former Northwestern 4-A Conference rival McDowell.


Watauga girls 48, Avery 45

Avery (0-1)

Clark 1 3-4 6, B. Burleson 1 0-0 3, Rigdon 2 1-2 7, Heaton 5 2-3 15, Ramsey 0 1-2 1, L. Burleson 1 3-5 5, Woody 1 5-8 7, B. Burleson 0 0-0 0, Poone 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 16-24 45.

Watauga (1-0)

Woods 1 0-0 2, Wood 4 0-0 11, Margolis 3 8-11 14, Harris 2 0-0 5, McNeill 2 1-3 5, Wilson 1 0-0 2, Welsh 2 3-8 7, Makarova 0 2-2 2 Derrick 0 0-0 0, Westphal 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 14-24 48.

Avery  8 7 11 19 — 45

Watauga          16 3 9 20 — 48

3-point goals—Avery 7 (Heaton 3, Rigdon 2, Clark, B. Burleson; Watauga 4 (Wood 3, Harris). Rebounds—Avery 25 (Woody 7), Watauga 29 (Margolis 9). Turnovers—Avery 17, Watauga 21. Total fouls—Avery 22, Watauga 20. Fouled out—Avery, Clark, Woody. Technical fouls—None.