The Watauga High girls basketball team and been up-and-down for the most part this season. And at the moment, the Pioneers (7-7 overall; 2-2 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference) are on the upswing.
WHS has won two in a row, and it solidified its grip on fourth place in the league standings with a convincing 66-37 win against St. Stephens Tuesday night at Lentz-Eggers Gym in a NW3A/4A Conference game.
The Pioneers also handed St. Stephens (3-14; 0-6) its 22nd consecutive loss in league play. The Indians haven't won a conference game since the 2010-11 season. And the Pioneers made sure the Indians remained in their funk as they built a double-digit lead by the end of the fourth quarter.
Leading 9-6, WHS went on an 11-0 run and built a 20-6 lead at the end of the opening stanza. The Pioneers increased their advantage to 19 points by halftime and led by as many as 30 points in the second half.
"We knew what they were going to do," said WHS coach Klay Anderson. "Virginia McMahan is their best player, and that's why we went into a zone. She's a very good undersized post player for them. And we wanted to keep the ball out of her hands. And we did that."
Hannah Margolis paced WHS with a game-high 23 points; Savanna Wood chipped in with 18 points; Clare Harris had six points.
"We got contributions up and down the lineup all night," Anderson said. "And that's what we want from our girls. Anytime you score 20 points a quarter, especially in girls basketball, you're in a good position to win the game. And that run we put together late in the first quarter wore them down a little bit. We just put our foot down and they couldn't recover."
McMahan led the Indians with 11 points. The WHS boys and girls basketball teams travel to Hibriten tonight. Coverage from Lenior begins at 6 p.m. on Oldies 100.7 FM.
NOTES: Sophomore Haleigh Wallace played her first game of the season Tuesday night. She missed the first 13 games of the season with a stress fracture in her right leg. Wallace, who played limited minutes, finished with five points....The JV girls defeated St. Stephens 38-35 in overtime. Madi Brown led WHS with 12 points; Rachel Foutz had 11.
WATAUGA 66, ST. STEPHENS 37
SCORE BY QUARTERS 1st 2nd 3rd 4th TOTAL
ST. STEPHENS 6 12 7 12 - 37
WATAUGA 20 17 11 18 - 66
STS: CALDWELL 3, WILLIAMS 7, BLALOCK 1, THORNBURG 3, HICKS 6, KILLIAN 3, MENARD 3, McMAHAN 11. FG: 8, 3FG: 3, FT: 12-21.
THREE-POINTERS: CALDWELL, KILLIAN, MENARD.
WHS: WOOD 18, WALLACE 5, MARGOLIS 23, HARRIS 7, McNEILL 6, LOFLIN 3, WELSH 4. FG: 20, 3FG: 6, FT: 8-10.
THREE-POINTERS: WOOD 2, MARGOLIS 2, WESPHAL, HARRIS.