|Loflin Leads WHS Over Eagles|
|Written by Mike Kelly|
|Thursday, 19 December 2013 09:49|
The Watauga High girl's basketball team, led by Ryan Loflin's career-high 26 points, blasted Wilkes Central 72-57 in a non-conference game at Lentz-Eggers Gym.
The Pioneers (2-7), riding a modest two-game winning streak following an 0-7 start, also ended a personal four-game losing streak against the Eagles. Loflin took charge right away. She poured in 13 of her points in the first half as the Pioneers, who never trailed, led 28-25 at halftime before they broke the game open in the second half.
"We attacked them tonight," said WHS coach Klay Anderson. "This was a quality win against a solid program. And what momentum we have. That win against St. Stephens really got us going. The girls are buying into what we're doing. They were in this game from start to finish. It was a total team effort. Tonight, we made the big run and put the game away."
The Pioneers, thanks to a jumper by Clare Harris to close out the third quarter, built their biggest lead at 48-39. And the lead ballooned from there.
Leading 53-48, the Pioneers went on a 10-0 run and built their biggest advantage of the game at 63-48. Loflin ignited that outburst with six points.
"We were hoping Ryan was going to run the point for us this year," Anderson said. "But it took us seven games to see it. She lost so much of her aggressiveness running the point. We sat down as a coaching staff after last Friday night's loss at Ashe County, and we talked about how to utilize our players to make us successful. And we changed some things. Defensively that's made us more aggressive. And Ryan has exploded offensively in the last two games since we moved her to the wing, and we put Savanna (Wood) at the point."
Loflin has scored 36 points in her last two games. She had seven rebounds, eight steals and two blocked shots Wednesday night against the Eagles.
"We just played well as a team tonight," Loflin said. "We changed things a little bit and move Savanna to point guard. We made good passes tonight and didn't turn the ball over. We attacked on defense tonight, and forced them into a lot of mistakes. This win was very important. We've won two in a row after our bad start. It's a nice way to go into our Christmas break."
The Eagles (5-3), who had won three out of four coming in, struggled mightily against WHS' defensive scheme. The Pioneers utilized a 2-2-1 half-court trap and a 2-3 zone that forced numerous turnovers. In turn, the Pioneers produced more than their share of transition baskets.
"Good defense creates offense," Anderson said. "We took away their passing lanes, we trapped, and we forced them into a lot of mistakes. That played in our favor. Wilkes Central like to run the floor. But the trapping defense we used, and our zone slowed things down. we never gave them a clean look at the basket."
The Pioneers also had four players in double figures. Wood, Tori Derrick and Harris all had 12 points apiece. Wood finished with three assists and six steals, Harris had five rebounds and three assists.
"Having Savanna back has really given us a huge lift," Anderson said. "She's our true leader. The girls look up to her. And she doesn't have to score for us to be successful. She hit a big three for us in the second half, but for the most part, she did a great job getting everyone involved in the offense. She brings a calming affect to our team on the floor. We were really relaxed and focused tonight. We've played very well the last two games."
Laken Blackburn led the Eagles with 15 points; Amber Godfrey finished with 13 points.
The Pioneers will take some time off before they play in the Colvard Oil Holiday Classic in West Jefferson, N.C., on Friday, December 27. The WHS girls will play North Forsyth in the opening round at 4 p.m. The WHS boys will play Forbush at 5:30 p.m.
Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. on AM 1450, WATA and GoBlueridge.net.
NOTES: The WHS junior varsity girls defeated Wilkes Central 51-48 Wednesday nigfht. Sydney Farthing led WHS with 15 points. Holly Greene had ten points, Alina Kosmala and Olivia Williamson each had eight points apiece....The WHS JV boys defeated Wilkes Central 65-37 Wednesday night. Caleb Bryson scored a game-high 24 points.
WATAUGA 72, WILKES CENTRAL 57
SCORE BY PERIODS 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
WILKES CENTRAL 6 19 14 18 - 57
WATAUGA 10 18 20 24 - 72
WCHS: MASTIN 6, GRAHAM 5, GIBBS 4, McCUMBER 3, GODFREY 13, BLACKBURN 15, WILLIAMS 6, McMEIL 6. FG: 16, 3FG: 3, FT: 16-27.
WHS: WOOD 12 (3 ASSISTS, 6 STEALS), DERRICK 12, HARRIS 12 (5 REBOUNDS, 3 ASSISTS, 2 STEALS), CARROLL 3, LOFLIN 26 (7 REBOUNDS, 8 STEALS, 2 BLOCKS), McNEILL 4, BROWN 1, FOUTZ 2. FG: 23, 3FG: 1, FT: 23-31.
WHS BOYS 63, WILKES CENTRAL 36
The Watauga High boy's basketball team came charging back from Tuesday's disappointing loss in a big way. The Pioneers (7-2) took out their frustrations on Wilkes Central in a lopsided 63-36 non-conference win at Lentz-Eggers Gym Wednesday night.
The Pioneers have now won three in a row against the Eagles (3-4), and Wilkes Central, mired in a three-game losing streak, hasn't won in Boone since 1999.
The Pioneers took control right away as they built a commanding 11-0 lead in the first quarter. The Eagles, who never got any closer than seven points, finally scored when Wesley Triplett nailed a jumper in the lane with 3:46 left in the opening stanza.
WHS led 19-6 after one, and the lead grew to 18 points by halftime. The Pioneers led 49-26 after three as Utah Jones buried a three at the horn to close out the stanza.
"I was worried about our energy level," said WHS coach Rob Sanders. "After our pre-game talk, Cam (Baker), Eli (Gailes), and Jay (Harrill) pulled me to the side and said they wanted us to go with our trap and scramble defense right off the bat. That really amazed me. But they came out with a lot of energy and took control of the game. That just shows the character of these players and how they can bounce back from a setback."
The Pioneers eventually led 59-30 with 3:24 left in the game. WHS had three players in double figures led by Harrill, who scored all of his game-high 17 points in the first half. He also had two assists and three steals.
Baker finished with 11 points and five rebounds; Aaron Dobbins had 11 points and nine rebounds. Gailes finished with six points, including a trifecta, four rebounds and four assists.
"These guys just want to have fun," Sanders said. "They just want to play, and they want to play well. That's why this group is so resilient. The last thing we wanted was to go into the Christmas break losing two in a row. This was a very big win for us as a team."
Michael Howell paced the Eagles with eight points in the loss; Isaiah Osborne had seven points.
"We had key possessions, where we made the right pass, and we hit the big shots," Sanders said. "That was a big key for us tonight. We've got a lot of weapons on this team. We can't rely on one guy to carry us. We have the ability to have three or four guys score in double figures every night. That's the type of team we are, and we showed that tonight."
The Pioneers take on Forbush at the Colvard Oil Holiday Classic on Friday, December 27 at 5:30 p.m. The WHS girls play North Forsyth at 4 p.m. that night. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. on AM 1450, WATA and GoBlueridge,net.
WATAUGA 63, WILKES CENTRAL 36
SCORE BY PERIODS 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
WILKES CENTRAL 6 14 6 10 - 36
WATAUGA 19 19 9 14 - 63
WCHS: COLBERT 6, OSBORNE 7, LOWE 6, NUNN 5, VESTAL 2, HOWELL 8, TRIPLETT 2. FG: 13, 3FG: 1, FT: 7-9.
WHS: HARRILL 17 (2 ASSISTS, 3 STEALS), EGGERS 3, GAILES 6 (4 REBOUNDS, 4 ASSISTS), ANDREWS 2, DOBBINS 11 (9 REBOUNDS), JONES 5 (3 STEALS), EBAUGH 4 (BLOCKED SHOT), BAKER 11 (5 REBOUNDS), LAMBERT 4 (2 ASSISTS, 3 BLOCKS). FG: 20, 3FG: 4, FT: 11-18.
Photo Courtesy: Savanna Wood (left) and Tori Derrick, Bill Sheffield
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