Lady ‘Cats earn first win

Published | Nov 22, 2023

Morganton- It was a struggling start for the Draughn girls basketball team, but a 16-1 second-quarter run pushed the Lady Wildcats to prevail for the first time in the early stages of the 2023-24 basketball season, defeating Patton 49-8.

The Lady Wildcats only managed a 10-2 lead over the host Lady Panthers with baskets from Rylee Woody, Taylor Holder, and Zoe Rector, with Jenna Abernathy adding a three-point shot.

Rector carried over production for the next three quarters of play, scoring six in the second quarter, four in the third quarter, and making a fourth-quarter three-pointer to finish with a season-high 15.

“She does put a lot of work in,” said Draughn girls basketball coach Liz Taylor of Rector, averaging 13.5 points while adding a 12-point output at St Stephens.

Leading scorer Abernathy (14.5) finished with nine points, including a 4/4 free-throw mark, after opening the season with a 20-point performance at St Stephens.

Holder (7), Kenley Berry (6), Woody (4), Kylie Corpening (4), Ambria Blalock (2), and Jacey Davis (2) completed the Lady Wildcats scoring to rebound from the seven-point opening loss.

“We needed this win; we need some confidence going into next week because we have some tough games against Freedom and East Burke.”

10 16 14 9

2 1 5 0

Zoe Rector 15, Abernathy 9, Holder 7, Berry 6, Woody 4, Corpening 4, Blalock 2, Davis 2

BOYS: Patton 71, Draughn 54

The Wildcats got off to a hot start after Connor Houston and Ethan Miller made a three-pointer, but the host Panthers recovered rather quickly building a 26-10 first-quarter lead and distancing themselves by leading 43-21 at the half.

Draughn did have fight left in the second half by outscoring Patton 22-17 in the third quarter, including three-pointers made by Miller, Blair Cooper, and Blake McElyea.

Each team scored 11 fourth-quarter points as the dust settled, with Blaine Blackwell making a three-pointer for the Wildcats.

Eli Tillery led Draughn in scoring with 16 points, including a 6/6 free-throw mark and a 15.5 scoring average to start the season.

Houston (11) and Miller (10) also scored in double figures, with Blake McElyea adding nine points.

10 11 22 11

26 17 17 11

Eli Tillery 16, Connor Houston 11, Ethan Miller 10, McElyea 9, Cooper 4, Blackwell 3, Silver 1

JV GIRLS: Draughn 41, Patton 14

The JV Lady Wildcats opened their season with a road win, which included an early 17-0 first-quarter lead.

Braelyn Clontz led in scoring with 13 points, followed by Mati Kincaid (9), Kylie Corpening (7), and Addelynn Honeycutt (7).

Kincaid, Corpening, Honeycutt, Clontz, and Kennedy Stroupe each pulled down a rebound for Draughn, with Kincaid making three steals.

JV BOYS: Patton 58, Draughn 25

The JV Wildcats remain winless after Monday’s road loss.

Gavin Johnson led with 13 points, followed by Dante Tillery, who added five points and was a leading rebounder.

-Contributions made by Josh McKinney, The Paper-

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