By David Rogers. January 6, 2015. BOONE, NC — With a deadly accurate perimeter attack that resulted in five Patriot women in double figures, Freedom High School of Morganton ransacked Watauga on Tuesday night, 81-46.
Coached by Amber Fox, Freedom HS came into tonight’s game with a 9-2 overall record and 1-1 in the 3A/4A Northwestern Conference (57-53 loss to Hickory on Dec. 19th), ranked 20th in the state of North Carolina. Against Watauga, which sported a 2-0 conference record after mid-December wins over St. Stephens and Fred T. Foard, Freedom had their way right from the get-go. Five players knocked down three-pointers in that perimeter attack, including two each from “downtown” by Maryah Corpening (15 points total) and Lindsey Adams (14).
We have to figure out a way to consistently play four quarters better, not just one quarter.
Game-high scoring honors went to Ariyana Williams, with 18 points, while Taylor Gardin added 11 and Madison Ervin contributed 10.
While the athletic and highly skilled Patriots were running, well, “free” for Freedom, Watauga’s Clare Harris picked up 15 points, Brooklin Carroll 10 points, Ryan Loflin 9 points and Madi Brown 7 points.
“We knew they were a very, very talented team,” acknowledged Watauga head coach Klay Anderson to reporters afterwards. “What we needed to do is score early…We needed a first quarter of 9,10,11 points even if they got around 20, but we just couldn’t score enough. We had some shots that should have been able to convert, but just couldn’t, and fell behind.
“But you know what?” Anderson added, “I’m especially proud of what we did in the third quarter, coming out and playing well and fighting back. By our count, I think that quarter was a 20-20 score. We have to figure out a way to consistently play four quarters better, not just one quarter.
“They had a couple of runs,” continued Anderson, “and we just couldn’t withstand them.”
Anderson shared that the early foul trouble in which senior Brooklin Carroll found herself was especially harmful to the Pioneers. “It really hurt to have Brooklin on the bench. I spoke with her about how important she was to us and how we needed her on the floor. You could see how well she played later in the second quarter and in the second half. But Freedom is just so talented. They were able to do it inside. They were able to do it outside. They were able to force turnovers. We just ran up against a really quality opponent, at least on this night for this game.
“Take your hat off to Amber (Fox),” Watauga’s coach concluded. “They do a great job. I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish with some small victories, but we have the two biggest games of the year coming up next and that is where our focus has to be.”