Lady Pats’ second-half surge not enough to overcome Russell

LEXINGTON — It was a tale of two halves for the Lincoln County girls’ basketball team in its Traditional Bank Holiday Classic opener against Russell Tuesday night at Lexington Catholic.
Unfortunately for the Lady Patriots, their statistical dominance in the second half did not yield the same results as the Red Devils’ dominance in the first half and the end result was a 63-53 loss.
The Lady Patriots (5-2) were on the wrong side of the scoreboard in the first half, hindered by 5-for-30 shooting and 13 turnovers, nine in the first quarter. The Red Devils (7-2) took advantage of Lincoln’s offensive woes, opening up a nine-point lead in the first quarter then using a 19-6 second-quarter run to take control of the game. Lincoln was within 17-13 when Russell broke on the run to post a 36-19 halftime lead.
“It wasn’t a good first half,” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “We started slow with the nine turnovers in the first quarter, but I looked up the second quarter and we were still in the ballgame. We had it there a four-point game and I felt positive. But they finish with a huge run right before the half.”
Lincoln outscored Russell the second half, 34-27, with Logan Godbey, who led the Lady Patriots with 19 points, swishing in 14 second-half points to help cut the Red Devil lead to single digits before the rally effort fell short.
“Logan hit a lot of big shots tonight. Unfortunately, almost nobody else could get anything to fall for them,” said McWhorter. “I thought some shots looked good but nothing was falling. I was proud of Logan for stepping up and knocking down some shots to keep us in the game. But it was just like we could never get back and overcome that run that they made right before halftime.”
The Lady Patriots made a big dent in the Red Devil lead in the third quarter, outpointing Russell 17-9. Emma King, who finished with 17 points, opened the run with a bucket. She had two field goals in the run. Maddy Boyle, who scored 11 points, also picked up four points while Godbey bombed in three of her five 3-pointers in the game to get Lincoln within 45-36 going into the fourth quarter.
Maggie Jachimczuk, who led all scorers with 21 points, scored six of Russell’s nine third-quarter points and Madison Darnell, who had 17 points, added a bucket and a free throw.
Jachimczuk and Darnell hit back-to-back buckets to open the fourth quarter to push Russell’s lead back to 49-36. The Red Devils led by as many as 14 points in the fourth and outscored the Lady Patriots 18-17 to claim the win.
Russell’s lead dipped to single digits only once in the final frame, with Boyle converting on a three-point play to make it 62-53 with 21.6 seconds to play.
Boyle, King and Godbey each had five points in the 17-point fourth quarter and Trinity Shearer had two points.
Russell shot 51 percent from the field, going 22-for-43, 4-for-14 from 3-point range, while Lincoln finished at 30 percent overall on 18-for-60 shooting, 5-for-30 from 3.
“We did not shoot well,” McWhorter said. “We’ve got to be able to overcome bad shooting nights and pick up some maybe defensive things and create turnovers to get things maybe bouncing back our way.”
One scoring factor missing Tuesday night was Kaitlynn Wilks. The sophomore center, who double-doubled in Lincoln’s first four games and had double figures in the first six, was held to just two points with six rebounds.
“They did a good job of fronting her, backing her, really making it hard to get the ball inside to her,” McWhorter said. “I know she only shot the ball three times. She may have only touched the ball three times. Bright note is, she still gave us six or seven boards the little bit of time she had. She’s been able to get us going and give us double digits and they really did a good job on her tonight in keeping her locked down.”
McWhorter said Wilks picking up two fouls in the first quarter didn’t help Lincoln offensively.
“Her getting in foul trouble early hurt us in that first quarter. Maybe the second quarter would be a little different or the outcome of the game would be a little different if she’s not sitting over there with two fouls,” she said. “They outsized us when she went to the bench. Their starters were all juniors and seniors and I’m starting two seniors and drop to sophomores. The physicality, the strength showed a little bit today. Those are areas that, with maturity and age and continued work in the weight room, will come.”
Lincoln led just once in the ballgame, with Boyle banking in the game’s opening bucket. But Russell answered with a 7-0 run to go on top to stay. Jachimczuk drained a 3-pointer to open the run, Darnell went inside for a bucket then Ty Mitchell scored a layup off a turnover.
The Red Devils led by as many as nine points in the first but King sank two free throws late then Godbey followed with a bucket in the paint for a 17-11 margin after one.
Haley Southerland scored on a putback early in the second quarter to get Lincoln within 17-13, but the Lady Patriots would not get another shot to fall before the half, finishing 1-for-18 in the period.
Meanwhile, Russell was running and gunning in their breakout run. The Red Devils were 6-for-11 from the field in the 19-6 scoring surge, with Jachimczuk getting a 3-pointer and a bucket and Darnell and Rachel Michael each getting two field goals. Darnell also sank four free throws and Jachimczuk had two to put Russell up 36-19 at the break.
“We knew they were a good team coming in,” McWhorter said. “We had, I thought, a decent game plan. I was a little disappointed with our press early, but hopefully we bounce back like we did after the Lafayette loss. It’s a long road and this is just one game. Hopefully by February we’ll be playing the way we need to be playing.”
Lincoln was 12-for-17 at the foul line and Russell was 15-for-25. The Lady Patriots outrebounded the Red Devils 32-27.

Traditional Bank Holiday Classic
at Lexington Catholic
1 2 3 4 F
Lincoln 11 8 17 17 – 53
Russell 17 19 9 18 – 63

LINCOLN (5-2) – Emma King 17, Kaitlynn Wilks 2, Maddy Boyle 11, Logan Godbey 19, Haley Southerland 3, Trinity Shearer 1.
RUSSELL (7-2) – Maggie Jachimczuk 21, Alex Maynard 4, Madison Darnell 17, Rachel Michael 9, Ty Mitchell 8, Lakie Sanders 4.