Home Homepage Featured Sears leads Rockets to 42-11 first round playoff win

Sears leads Rockets to 42-11 first round playoff win

By David Rogers. January 23, 2020. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Fifteen points in just the second quarter and 27 total by intermission were more than enough for the distaff edition of Blowing Rock’s girl’s middle school basketball team. The #2-seeded Lady Rockets cruised to a dominating, 42-11 win over #7 seeded Bethel in the first round of the Watauga Middle School championship tournament.

COVER IMAGE: Kate Sears (25) of Blowing Rock goes up for two of her game-high 15 points in Round 1 of the Watauga County middle school tournament, vs. Bethel. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

Surrounded, but E.T. Tilley (4) fights her way to the basket.

Head coach Martha Trimble could scarcely have played on her second five against the outmatched (young) girls from the far western region of Watauga County. The flu bug has hit the team hard in January, and she only had three reserves for this game. As a consequence it served as a good practice for the regular starters while rotating the three reserves in from time to time. Two of the usual first players off the bench, Savannah Duvall and Katy Barker, were unavailable due to illness, so everyone else played more minutes than usual.

Sears drives baseline against Bethel in the first half.

Although the Blowing Rock girls seemed at times to just be going through the motions in their mission on the hardwoods, seventh-grade leader Kate Sears recorded a game-high 15 points, the only player on either side to reach double figures. Doriannah Whitehead added nine and E.T. Tilley six to rank among the game’s scoring leaders. Gracie Lawrence posted a team-high seven points for Bethel.

E.T. Tilley (4) outruns the Bethel defenders in getting to the basket.

With the win, Bethel’s season comes to a close and Blowing Rock advances to the semifinals, which will be played on Monday at Watauga High School’s Lentz-Eggers gym.

The Blowing Rock girls earn a rematch against #3 seeded Hardin Park, a team they uprooted 31-18 on November 14th at the Eagles’ home court, but lost on December 16th, 20-19, when Sears was out with an injury. With Sears now back at full strength, the Rockets are eager to face their perennial nemesis for the third time this season.


  • BR — Kate Sears (15)
  • BR — Doriannah Whitehead (9)
  • BTH — Gracie Lawrence (7)
  • BR — E.T. Tilley (6)
  • BR — Katie Durham (4)
  • BR — Nora Russom (4)
  • BR — Olivia Winger (2)
  • BR — Mattie Durham (2)
  • BTH — Jayden Arnette (2)
  • BTH — Hannah Millsaps (2)


  • #1 Cove Creek 59, #8 Green Valley 3
  • #2 Blowing Rock 42, #7 Bethel 11
  • #3 Hardin Park 44, #6 Valle Crucis 2
  • #4 Parkway 28, #5 Mabel 18


  • 4:00 PM #1 Cove Creek vs. #4 Parkway
  • 5:00 PM #2 Blowing Rock vs. #3 Hardin Park


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