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Haines pours in 18 to lead Watauga District past Liberty Bell in OT, 38-29

By David Rogers. BOONE, N.C. — A tied game, 29-29, at the end of regulation led to overtime for the Watauga District girls middle school basketball team vs. Liberty Bell Middle School, but a disruptive defense held the visitors scoreless in OT, while the host Watauga quintet tallied 9 points to take a 38-29 victory.

“It was another close game,” said Watauga head coach Andy Eggers afterwards, with a hint of understatement.

Liberty Bell led 9-8 at the end of the first quarter and 18-14 when the teams broke for intermission. Watauga cut the four-point deficit in half by the end of third quarter, then evened things up by the end of the 4th quarter to send the contest into overtime.

Watauga’s Blair Haines made good on two 3-point attempts in the critical final quarter of regulation to send the game into OT, then hit on 3-of-4 free throws during the overtime period as a desperate Liberty Bell side was trying to get the ball back. Haines wasn’t alone, however, as Izzy Mohr made a short-range 2-pointer as well as a free throw in OT, while Stephanie Morales-Mendez was good on 2-of-3 free throws during the extra session and Presli Wood also contributed a point from the charity stripe during OT.

Haines was the only Watauga player in double figures, recording a game-high 18 points for her afternoon’s work. She got offensive support from Mohr (5 points), Quinn Haines (5 points) and Wood (5 points).

A critical factor in the team’s performance was their work under the basket on both ends of the court. Morales-Mendez pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, four of them on the offensive end to provide second chances for her teammates. Wood and Mohr also collected four rebounds each.

Watauga has just one game remaining on the 2022-23 schedule, a Jan. 23 date with Langtree Charter Academy in Mooresville.



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