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Originally published: 2013-02-26 00:08:27
Last modified: 2013-02-26 00:08:27

Watauga girls rally past East Gaston

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

East Gaston’s girls’ basketball team found out it’s not a good idea to leave Clare Harris and Savanna Wood open along the perimeter.

Harris drained four 3-point baskets, all in the first half, in the Pioneers’ 59-45 victory over East Gaston in the first round of the state 4-A playoffs Monday at Lentz-Eggers Gym. It was the first time Watauga had won a playoff game since 2010 when the Pioneers won at East Gaston in the first round.

“We shared the basketball extremely well,” Pioneers coach Klay Anderson said. “I thought we frustrated them in terms from our defense to their offense. I thought that made the difference.”

Watauga (12-13), seeded eighth, takes on No. 1 seeded North Mecklenburg (23-3), a winner of Lake Norman. East Gaston, seeded ninth, slipped to 8-18.

Harris finished with 22 points in the game after scoring 14 points in the first half. Harris repeatedly hurt the Warriors by hitting 3-point baskets from the corner of the court.

She was not alone. Wood also hit two 3-pointers, and finished with 16 points.

Anderson pointed out that Harris also had 19 points in a win over Hibriten in the first round of the Northwestern Conference on Feb. 18, which was also a Monday night.

“We need to play more Monday games because on back-to-back Mondays, she went for 19 last week and 22 this Monday,” Anderson said. “She does a lot of things, but when she’s open, her and Savanna can flat-out knock them down.

The two helped the Pioneers overcome a 20-14 deficit in the second quarter. Watauga, helped by two 3-pointers from Harris and another by Wood, turned that deficit into a 29-28 halftime lead.

Watauga pulled away in the third quarter by outscoring East Gaston 11-3 in the third quarter, which put the Pioneers in front 40-31. The Pioneers continued their offensive pressure by outscoring East Gaston 19-14 in the fourth quarter.

“They had that little run in the first half when they took control a little bit, and we weren’t playing really well,” Anderson said. “After we came back and tool the lead right before half, we never let it go in the second half. We played outstanding.”

SaMauria Shannon finished with 13 points. Haley Hovis added 10 and Carley Kluttz scored eight. Watauga used a man-to-man defense for most of the game instead of a 2-3 zone the Pioneers used to win four straight games until a loss to Hickory in the semifinal of the NWC Tournament.


Watauga girls 59, East Gaston 45

East Gaston

Breakfield 1 0-0 2, Noblett 2 0-0 6, Brooks 2 2-4 6, Shannon 6 0-0 13, Hovis 3 4-4 10, Kluttz 3 2-2 8, McAllister 0 0-0 0, KcGuirk 0 0-0 0, Hough 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 8-10 45.


Wood 5 4-4 16, Derrick 1 0-0 2, Margolis 1 4-8 6, Harris 8 2-3 22, McNeill 3 0-0 6, Loflin 3 1-2 7, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Makarova 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 11-17 59.

East Gaston    12 15 3 14 — 45

Watauga          11 18 11 19 — 59

3-point goals—East Gaston 3 (Noblett 2, Shannon), Watauga 6 (Harris 4, Wood 2). Total fouls—East Gaston 14, Watauga 11. Fouled out—None. Technical fouls—None.