Dec. 12, 2012. The McDowell High Lady Titans used a strong second half to overcome an early deficit in defeating the Watauga Lady Pioneers 50-45 Tuesday evening.
The Pioneers opened up a 16-5 first quarter lead behind nine points from Hannah Margolis en routeto a 24-16 halftime advantage.
“We’ve done a really good job getting off to quick starts,” Pioneers Head Coach Klay Anderson said. “We try to play our schedule with a lot of good basketball teams. It’s rare you get a night where their scoring drought continues.”
The Titan’s drought ended as the second half got under way.
After a Savanna Wood three pointer gave the Pioneers a 31-20 lead, McDowell went on a 12-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 32-31.
Wood’s three point shooting kept the Pioneers in striking distance as the game wore on. Wood connected on five from downtown throughout the evening, finishing with 18 points.
With two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers found themselves facing a five point deficit before cutting the lead back to one. A trio of missed free throws in the final minute, two on the front end of a pair of one-and-ones, kept the comeback just out of reach.
“We had our chance at the free throw line,” Thompson said. “We just didn’t capitalize.”
Nicole Mills led the Titan offense with 15 poimts, mostly on slicing drives to the hoop, and eight rebounds. McRary scored all eight of her points in the second half, helping the Titans take control of the game.
Margolis finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
“That stat line right there says a great deal,” Anderson said. “She’s so unselfish. Her, having to play the point guard position right now, sometimes takes her out of a scoring mode. The way she started in the first quarter is the way we need her to play. It just takes so much energy out her to do that.”
Margolis’ added responsibility comes in the wake of numerous injuries to the Pioneer’s roster. Haleigh Wallace is out with a stress fracture, Jenna Woods is battling a knee injury and Tasha Wilson broke her fibula at Avery on Friday evening. The Pioneers hope to heal in the next week before heading to Foard High in hopes of ending a three-game skid that has set their record at even 3-3.