Watauga started the game on a 13-0 run and made a statement in this early season matchup, cruising on to a 55-40 win over Ashe County on Friday night.
Ben Howser got it started with a three-point play. Ben Margolis hit two free throws, then DeWayne Mackey nailed a long three-pointer to take an 8-0 lead and force an early timeout from Ashe head coach Scott Grubb.
The Pioneers continued the scoring with four points from Allen Koppenhaver and a free throw from Margolis to force yet another Ashe timeout with 1:55 left in the first quarter, trailing 13-0.
The Huskies finally got the lid off the bucket with a free throw from Zach Lawrence and a layup from senior Eli Gambill. Watauga held a 15-3 lead after the first quarter.
Things continued to be a bit rocky for Ashe in the second quarter. The Huskies got two free throws from Sam Bowers, but a pair of jump shots from Tyler Sturgill and a three-pointer from Cam Baker had Watauga out in front 22-5. Watauga would eventually finish the half with a 29-9 lead.
Ashe could not make up any ground in the third quarter. Both teams scored 16 points, including five points off the bench for Ashe’s Alex Laws. One highlight of the quarter was Jordan Spell knocking down a three-point shot from the top of the key at the buzzer.
In the final quarter of play, Ashe was able to fight back and get to within 15 points in the final frame, but could not get any closer the rest of the way.
The Huskies dropped to 1-2 on the season. Watauga improved to 3-0.
Mackey and Sturgill paced the Pioneers with 13 points each. Koppenhaver added 10 points, Howser finished with seven and Baker added five.
Devan Sheets led Ashe scorers with 12 points off the bench. Bowers finished with eight, Spell and Laws had five, Gambill finished with four and Cullen Ashley had three. Junior Matthew Lee added two points and Lawrence finished with a single point to wrap up the Husky scoring.
Ashley and Sheets led the way on the boards with five rebounds, and both had three steals as well.
Along with five points for Laws, the junior point guard dished out four assists and grabbed three rebounds.
Ashe will open its conference slate of games at Wilkes Central on Tuesday.