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Avery junior guard Bre Heaton pushes the ball upfloor in a game earlier this season. Heaton, with
11 points, was one of four AHS players scoring double-figures in last week's conference win
against Owen. Photo by Jamie Shell

Originally published: 2012-12-19 15:45:13
Last modified: 2012-12-19 15:45:13

Varsity girls hoops falls at West Wilkes, throttles Warlassies

Jamie Shell / (

Avery Lady Vikings varsity basketball sought a season sweep against West Wilkes last week, as well as to start strong entering the conference season with a win against Owen. The Big Red accomplished half its goals, falling 48-46 in a narrow loss at West on Monday, Dec. 10, but bounced back with a dominant 55-37 win at home against Owen on Friday, Dec. 14.

The contest with West was a back-and-forth affair. The Lady Vikings led 14-13 after one period, but found itself trailing 24-21 at halftime. West continued to build momentum, using an 18-10 third period to build a double-digit margin at 42-31 entering the final period.

Avery showed its ability to rally, much as it had done in its season opener at Watauga, rallying from a deficit to claw back into the contest. Also much like the first Watauga contest, however, the home team managed to hold on in the closing moments to hand AHS another tough defeat.

Junior forward Lauren Burleson paced Avery with 16 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Kelsie Clark added 14 points, with seven points from junior guard Katie Rigdon.

The Lady Vikings bounced back with a much-needed victory against the Warlassies to open the Western Highlands Conference season slate. The Big Red started slowly, as Owen built a 12-8 advantage after eight minutes of play, but a 17-5 second-quarter run by the Lady Vikings turned the tables, giving Avery a 25-17 halftime lead.

Avery's depth and defensive pressure proved too much for Owen to handle over the course of the entire contest. AHS pulled away in the second half, using a 21-point third period to take a 46-27 lead after three periods en route to the victory.

Clarke led four Lady Vikings in double-figures scoring with 13 points. She also added six steals and two assists. Junior guard Bre Heaton added 11 points, three rebounds, three steals and three assists. Junior forward Haley Woody scored 10 points and hauled in nine rebounds, while teammate Burleson also tallied 10 points and nine rebounds.

As a team, Avery committed 17 steals and was 11-of-18 from the free throw line. The Lady Vikings hauled in 39 total rebounds and dished out 12 assists.

Avery hosted Ashe County in non-conference action earlier this week, and travels to take on Thomas Jefferson Academy this Thursday, Dec. 20. The date of the game with TJCA is a change from the original date of Friday, Dec. 21.