CHECKMATE: Castle leads Watauga past Ashe County, 74-63

CHECKMATE: Castle leads Watauga past Ashe County, 74-63
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Ethan Rothrock eyes basket.

By David Rogers. January 10, 2019. WEST JEFFERSON, NC – Tiger Woods once observed after a rough patch in his early career, “Winning solves everything.” In West Jefferson, visiting Watauga brushed off a disappointing collapse on Tuesday to survive Ashe County’s second half rally on Thursday, finishing off the Huskies, 74-63.

COVER IMAGE: Anderson Castle (10) looks for cross-court pass. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News.

The Pioneers led by 12 at the half, 49-37, but the Huskies narrowed the deficit to just four (59-55) by the end of the third quarter and momentum seemed to be on the hosts’ side.

Jaiden Bond for a reverse layup.

After the game, Watauga head coach Rob Sanders acknowledged that with the game seemed to be again slipping away, but recalled how senior point guard Zach West took command in a timeout huddle to restore energy into his teammates’ play.

“’Learn from McDowell’,” Sanders quoted West as repeating in the huddle. His message was to remind his teammates of their Tuesday night collapse — urging them not to repeat it.

With 14 of 16 shooting from the charity stripe and two Pioneers with more than 20 points of offensive production. Sophomore forward Blane St. Clair had his usual high octane performance with 23 points, but it was junior guard Anderson Castle that tied Ashe County’s Alec Roland for game-high scoring honors, with 24.

Zach West battles past Husky defender.

Three Pioneers were perfect from the free throw line, including St. Clair (7-of-7), West (3-of-3), and sophomore forward Ben Ricker (2-of-2). On the other hand, Ashe County shot less than 50% from the foul line, 8-of-20.

The Pioneers return to the road on Friday at Hickory-St. Stephens to resume Northwestern Conference play.

SCORING

Watauga

  • 24 – Anderson Castle
  • 23 – Blane St. Clair
  • 9 – Zach West
  • 6 – Jaiden Bond
  • 5 – Ethan Rothrock
  • 5 – Ben Ricker
  • 2 – Jonah Martin

Ashe County

  • 24 –
    Blane St. Clair in left-handed layup.

    Alec Roland

  • 18 – Austin Poe
  • 6 – Colby Greer
  • 5 – Nate Lee
  • 4 – Noah Vannoy
  • 2 – Briann Zheng
  • 2 – Blake Lewis
  • 2 – Dylan Calhoun

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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