By David Rogers. December 6, 2017. BOONE, NC — Rivalry games rarely get more interesting. Host Watauga women’s basketball jumped out to a 15-3 lead to start its non-conference tilt vs. Avery County Wednesday night, but found themselves on the short end of a 30-29 halftime score and a 40-37 deficit at the end of the third quarter before outscoring the Vikings 19-8 in the final period to win going away at Lentz-Eggers Gym, 56-48.
COVER IMAGE: Cailey Haas (2) dribbles past a Viking defender before passing to the corner. Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
Asked for three bullet points to sum up the Pioneers performance, sophomore guard Brooke Byrd replied, “Hustle, attacking defense, and putting the ball in the hoop.”
Fellow sophomore guard Rebekah Farthing, who recorded a game high 24 points on the night, explained that the team had worked all week on pressure defense. “We figured they would be a little taller than Ashe County was, so we had to be faster in getting to the ball and faster in getting it down court,” she noted. “I think we really won this game with defense and converting their turnovers into points.”
Farthing (24) and Byrd (13) accounted for 37 of Watauga’s 56 points. Farthing jumped on the Vikings for 12 points in the first quarter alone and six points in the second period. Byrd did most of her damage in the final period, with 8 in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings were led by Heaven Nelson’s team-high 22 points, half of that amount coming in the second period to help propel the visitors to a halftime lead. McKenzie Franklin scored 13 for the visitors, 11 of them coming in the second half.
Rivalry Week continues for the Pioneers on Friday when they travel to West Jefferson for the seasonal rematch against Ashe County, then trek to Newland next Tuesday to face Avery County on the Vikings’ hostile home court.
SLIDESHOW By David Rogers for Blowing Rock News