By David Rogers. December 20, 2018. BOONE, NC — It was a rainy night in the High Country, both inside and outside of Lentz Eggers Gym, where host Watauga rallied from an 8-point early deficit to defeat Wilkes Central going away, 67-39.
SEE SLIDESHOW @ BOTTOM
A strong offensive showing in the second half and a defensive effort that allowed the Eagles only 14 points in the second half was much of the story Thursday night in the annual rivalry rematch between these two teams.
After trailing 14-6 late in the first period, host Watauga rallied to tie at 20-20, then took a tenuous, 26-25 edge into the locker room at halftime. But a 23-9 run by Watauga in the decisive third period and an 18-5 clinching performance in the final stanza was too much for the visiting Eagles.
The Pioneers’ senior guard Cailey Haas was held to just one point in the opening quarter, but found her range in the second frame to pour in a game-high 18 points. Fellow guards Brelyn Sturgill (freshman) and Brooke Byrd (junior) were also in double figures for the night, finishing with 10 points apiece.
For the Eagles, freshman forward Sarah Lowe recorded a team-high 8 points, all in the first half.
In Wilkesboro on December 4th, Wilkes Central defeated Watauga, 50-38, so Thursday’s rematch victory was just that much sweeter for the Pioneers, especially after Tuesday night’s demolition in Lentz Eggers Gym at the hands of Burnsville’s Mountain Heritage five.
West Wilkes was missing their 6-4 center, sophomore Malaya Cowles, who posted a game-high 21 points for the Eagles in the December 4th matchup due to an early season knee injury. Blowing Rock News learned that Cowles, who even as a sophomore is being heavily recruited by a host of Division I university programs, has scheduled an MRI to determine the extent of injury to a knee.
With a young roster that only includes one senior, Haas, among its starters, Watauga finishes the pre-conference season at 4-4. The Pioneers open Northwestern Conference play at South Caldwell on January 2nd.
Wilkes Central (1st-2nd-3rd-4th)
- K. Anderson (2 fouls), 2 points (2-0-0-0)
- Erica Wyatt (0 fouls), 6 points (2-4-0-0)
- Andrea Mccrimmon (1 foul), 2 points (0-0-0-2)
- Zoe Susi (2 fouls), 7 points (3-0-4-0), including two 3-pointers
- Azariah Banks (1 foul), 2 points (0-0-0-2)
- Sarah Lowe (1 foul), 8 points (5-3-0-0), including two 3-pointers
- Jacklyn Richardson (3 fouls), 6 points (2-0-3-1)
- Zakiya Banks (1 foul), 4 points (0-2-2-0)
- Madison German (3 fouls), 2 points (0-2-0-0)
- Brooke Byrd (3 fouls), 10 points (0-4-6-0)
- Cailey Haas (2 fouls), 18 points (1-6-7-4), including one 3-pointer
- Brelyn Sturgill (2 fouls), 10 points (1-3-4-2)
- Rebekah Farthing (3 fouls), 6 points (2-0-4-0)
- Molly Ward (2 fouls), 4 points (2-0-2-0)
- Paige Bolick (2 fouls), 3 points (1-0-0-2)
- Ava Williamson (2 fouls), 2 points (0-0-0-2)
- Libby Warren (no fouls), 3 points (0-0-0-3), including one 3-pointer
- Taylor Lipford (1 foul), 5 points (0-2-0-3), including one 3-pointer
Chelsi Hodges (3 fouls), 6 points (0-4-0-2)