By David Rogers. February 8, 2019. HICKORY, NC — It was chilly outside and in for Watauga men’s basketball Friday night. Sophomore shooting guard Blane St. Clair poured in 30 points — almost half of it in the fourth quarter — and senior point guard Zach West added 12, but visiting Watauga could not overcome host Hickory’s big early lead, losing 75-65 at David Craft Gym.
COVER IMAGE: Who says basketball is a non-contact sport? All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
The Red Tornadoes led from start to finish in a game that featured the lightning quick, pesky hands of Hickory’s defense that thwarted almost every attempt by the Pioneers to drive the lane. That, and they squandered opportunities at the free throw line, shooting only 61.9% (13-of-21).
For Hickory, Davis Amos tallied seven points in the first quarter to lead the Red Tornadoes to an early, but still manageable 13-7 advantage. In the second period, Amos and teammate Cody Young combined for 16 of Hickory’s 19 points in the period while Watauga was held to 12.
Facing a 13-point deficit at the halftime break, Watauga showed signs of life in the third with St. Clair recording 8 points in the period to lead the Pioneers. The sophomore playmaker added 14 more in the final period, a dozen coming on four consecutive made 3-pointers, but it was not enough to lasso the Red Tornadoes.
Amos and Young finished the game with 23 and 21 points, respectively. St. Clair (31) and West (12) were the only other players in double figures.
Watauga (11-10 overall, 6-6 in Northwestern Conference) closes out the 2018-19 regular season at home the next two games, first against top-ranked Freedom (12-0, 21-1) on Tuesday, Feb. 12, then on Senior Night vs. West Caldwell (3-9, 3-17) on Friday, Feb. 15.
- 31 – Blane St. Clair, including 8-of-8 from the free throw line and four 3-pointers, all in the 4th quarter
- 12 – Zach West, including 4-of-6 from the foul line and two 3-pointers
- 7 – Anderson Castl
- 7 – Jaiden Bond
- 23 – Davis Amos, including 5-of-6 from the charity stripe
- 21 — Cody Young, with 6-of-7 from the free throw line and three “treys”
- 9 – Jaylen Harper, 7 points in the second half