Poe v. Watauga

Austin Poe (1) makes his return against Watauga Dec. 13.

WEST JEFFERSON — At Ashe County High School Friday, Dec. 13, the Watauga Pioneers boys’ basketball team (3-2) beat the Huskies (1-5) for the eighth straight time in a 63-45 game that was never close.

The game marked the return of Ashe’s Austin Poe, who was recovering from wrist surgery in recent weeks.

Jake Sears got the Pioneers off the mark with a wide open three with the first shot of the game. The make started a scoring run that the Huskies could not keep up with.

“Hot shooting from Jake to start, which fires this team up,” Head Coach Laura Barry said after the game. “They love it when he goes off like that.”

Sears’s hot start helped the Pioneers jump out to a 23-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Watauga kept their hot start going in the second quarter, going on run after run to keep the lead too big for the Huskies to get out of. Ashe struggled to get their shots to fall, and Huskies coach Nathan Colvard said Ashe was unable to find the intensity they needed on defense.

While they were down 41-26 at the half, the Huskies kept fighting their way back into the game, repeatedly getting their deficit down to single digits. Watauga was not letting their lead slip however, forcing turnovers and shooting effectively to lead 52-36 at the end of the third.

“We did a good job of moving the ball and getting to the rim,” Barry said. “I thought we missed a decent amount at the rim that were good looks, so I was happy with our shot selection.”

When the fourth quarter rolled around, the game was essentially into garbage time, with Watauga willing to spend time passing rather than scoring, and the Huskies desperately trying to get whatever they could out of the game.

Despite late scores from Poe and Colby Greer, the Huskies never managed to dig themselves out of the double-digit hole they found themselves in, succumbing to the 63-45 loss.

The Huskies’ next game will be against the Mitchell Mountaineers (0-1) Friday, Dec. 20.

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