Pioneers too much for Huskies
Last modified: Dec. 6
The Watauga County High's Lady Pioneers spent much of Friday's showdown with Ashe County trying to figure out a way to pull away from their scrappy, yet determined neighbors to the north.
But it seemed as if no matter what Watauga threw at the Lady Huskies, whose senior class is comprised of only two players this year, Ashe responded and never let the Pioneers out of their sight.
Despite the well-played game and leadership of Coach Laura Foster, Ashe fell to Watauga 47-33, and are 0-3 on the season.
The Huskies remained within striking distance for much of the game, and did not let their 4A counterparts get more than seven points ahead of them until the fourth quarter.
Ashe trailed the Pioneers 9-8 after the opening quarter of action when a three-pointer from freshmen Ashton Lee gave the Huskies a much needed boost heading into the second quarter.
The Pioneers looked as if they would finally earn some separation against Ashe before halftime when Hannah Margolis hit an easy layup, stole the ball at half court and drove to the hoop for another basket. Clare Harris then followed with two points of her own to make the score 17-10 halfway through the period.
Ashe quickly put a halt to the sudden outburst of scoring when Abby Lopp drained a 15-footer and another three-pointer by Lee tied the game at 19.
Watauga would once again retake the lead, but another jump shot by Lopp in the closing moments of the half cut the Pioneers' advantage back to two points.
In the third quarter, another Paige Spell jumper pulled Ashe County within a single score, but Watauga finally began to figure out the Huskies defense as they slowly put the game just out of reach.
Back-to-back baskets by Margolis and a jumper by Kaelin McNeill gave the Pioneers a 32-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
A three-pointer by Harris gave the Pioneers their first double digit lead of the night.
Moments later, Chelsea Reavis would try to keep Ashe with a three-pointer of her own and Spell knocked down a free-throw to trim the lead back to single digits.
Watauga began to solidify the win with yet another three-pointer by Harris later in the quarter and Ashe would never get close than 11 for the remainder of the game.
While Ashe is winless on the year, the Huskies season was renewed with their conference opener against Wilkes Central High in Moravian Falls on Tuesday night.
Wilkes Central was last year's 2A State Runner-ups, but lost several key players this season.
Ashe will then travel to East Bend Friday night to take on the Forbush Falcons.