Byrd leads Pioneers’ taming of Cougars, 63-23

Byrd leads Pioneers’ taming of Cougars, 63-23
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By David Rogers. January 4, 2019. BOONE, NC — There was no ark to build because Watauga women’s basketball team WAS the flood Friday night at Lentz Eggers Gym. It may have begun with a trickle, but quickly morphed into a torrent. The Pioneers stormed past visiting Alexander Central, 63-23, and it wasn’t even THAT close.

When Byrds roar, Cougars cower.  Pioneer junior guard Brooke Byrd burned the nets for 24 points and copped seven steals to lead Watauga.  The Pioneers spared no prisoners in jumping out to a commanding, 24-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, then kept pouring it on — and on and on and on — even after head coach Laura Barry emptied her bench.

No fewer than seven Pioneers were on the court for at least 15 minutes, the other three no less than six minutes played. Freshman guard Brelyn Sturgill added 12 points and tied for with junior post player Molly Ward for team-high h0nors in rebounds, each with six.

Barry shared with reporters afterward that before the game Byrd seemed determined to be aggressive in going to the hoop, and she certainly achieved that objective. She shot a stunning 73.3% from the floor (11-of-15) and 40% from behind the 3-point arc (2-of-5).

Rebekah (“Half Bennett”) Farthing also had an impressive scoring line with 7 points, 6 assists, 6 steals, and 4 rebounds.

If the Pioneers had any shortcomings, it was in their performance at the charity stripe.  As a team, Watauga was just 8-of-16 from the foul line, but even those numbers are skewed because Sturgill was a perfect 4-of-4. The rest of the team shot just 33.3% from the free throw line.

Talking Points

  • Watauga held a 44-12 advantage in “points in the paint”, perhaps aided by 28 points off of fast breaks, most of which ended as layups.
  • Only one Alexander Central player at more than 4 points on the night, starting guard Lanie Hammer (6 points)
  • Watauga shot 50% from the floor, at least partially explained by the Pioneers’ 28-0 advantage in points scored in transition, on fast breaks ending in layup


Alexander Central

  • Lanie Hammer — 6 points, 3 steals
  • Gracie Harrington — 4 points, 7 rebounds
  • Nikki Hagy — 4 points, 5 rebounds


  • Brooke Byrd — 24 points, 7 steals
  • Rebekah Farthing — 7 points, 6 steals, 4 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Brelyn Sturgill — 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals
  • Cailey Haas — 8 points, 3 steals, 3 assists
  • Molly Ward — 8 points, 6 rebounds


About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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