Lincoln rings in new year with win over Anderson

Published 12:51 pm Thursday, January 5, 2017

STANFORD — The Lincoln County girls’ basketball team opened up the 2017 year successfully, notching a 73-53 win over visiting Anderson County Tuesday night.
The Lady Bearcats came into the matchup with a 10-3 record, winning nine of their last 10 games. Those 10 wins included 52-point and 45-point victories where they held their opponents to 18 and 13 points.
But there was no holding back the Lady Patriots. Lincoln (9-4) put up 17 points in the first quarter to lead 17-13, then followed with consistent double-digit scoring the rest of the way to put the Lady Bearcats away.
“When you score double digits every quarter and hold them to single digits, especially the fourth quarter, it’s big,” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “They are a tough, scrappy team. I know they are young, but they brought it, especially the first half. It was a really scrappy game.”
Emma King, Maddy Boyle and Kaitlynn Wilks combined for 50 points to lead Lincoln in the win. King paced the Lady Patriots with a game-high 20 points, Boyle posted her varsity best of 16 points and Wilks was 6-for-6 from the field for 14 points as Lincoln posted another lopsided win.
However, the final score does not reflect the closeness of the game. For most of the first half and much of the third quarter, the teams often traded leads with the margin regularly teetering between one and four points.
Anderson posted the early lead with Alorra Sims, who had 13 points for the Lady Bearcats, sinking two free throws to get her team on the scoreboard, then Taylor Harley, who led Anderson with 15 points, banked in a 3-pointer for a 5-1 lead.
Lincoln used a 9-2 scoring run to erase Anderson’s lead. King drove the lane for a bucket, Wilks scored off an inbounds pass, Boyle bombed in a 3-pointer then Jenna King scored off an Emma King assist to put the Lady Pats up 10-7. Sims went inside for Anderson to make it 10-9 before Lincoln broke on another run. Emma King scored back-to-back buckets then sank a free throw for the largest lead of the half, 15-9.
Jaclynn Ruble, who scored 10 points for Anderson, sank two free throws and Lauren Boblitt scored a bucket to get the Lady Bearcats within 15-13 with just second to go in the first only to have Emma King put up a layup at the buzzer to make it 17-13.
Lincoln’s lead was still four points, 22-18, with 6:16 left in the first half when the offense hit the deep freeze. The Lady Pats missed four shot attempts while turning the ball over three times allowing Anderson to retake the lead. Harley scored a layup to kickstart a 6-0 run. Boblitt followed with a bucket then Sims got a putback to edge the Lady Bearcats in front 24-22.
The lead would change hands three times over the remainder of the second quarter, with Lincoln taking the lead into the break. Emma King and Boyle scored back-to-back layups off steals late in the period then Haley Southerland hit inside for a 33-28 halftime advantage.
Lincoln never trailed again.
Sammy Rogers and Ruble both nailed 3-pointers early in the third quarter to get Anderson within 35-34 only to have Lincoln answer with an 11-4 run. Wilks hit inside to open the run, Logan Godbey and Southerland followed with a bucket apiece, Jenna King got a layup and a free throw toss before Boyle closed the run with a layup for a 46-38 advantage.
Anderson was back within 49-45 late but Trinity Shearer stepped outside for a 3-pointer and Boyle went coast-to-coast off a steal for a 54-45 Lady Pat lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Lincoln’s lead never fell below seven points in the the final frame, with a 12-0 Lady Pat run blowing the game wide open. 
“They didn’t really let up the second half, but I thought we did a good job of stepping up, especially the third quarter and kind of taking momentum and taking charge,” said McWhorter. “We were doing things well the second half, especially starting on the defensive end to create some easy 2-point baskets.”
Wilks opened the Lady Pats’ 12-0 run with 6:52 to play by sinking a free throw toss. Boyle went to the line to sink two free throws, Wilks then pumped in two field goals and Shearer added two more free throws before Emma King capped the run with a 3-pointer to make it 66-47.
Anderson, which finished at 43 percent from the field on 17-for-40 shooting, 4-for-15 from 3-point range, scored just eight points in the fourth quarter. The Lady Bearcats were 3-for-11 from the field in the fourth. They also committed four turnovers and were whistled for two offensive fouls.  
“Tonight was a classic example of what I tell our girls all the time that, ‘It’s a marathon, not a sprint,’” McWhorter said. “It’s a four-quarter game and Anderson county did a good job of staying with us for two to two and a half quarters. But once we kept the momentum going and kept pressing and kept doing the things that I want us to do, the girls did a good job of staying true to that and then we were able to extend that lead. I think it wore them down.”
Lincoln finished at 48 percent overall, connecting on 28 of 59 shots attempted, 5 of 15 from 3-points out. The Lady Pats were 12-for-17 at the line. The Lady Bearcats were 15-for-24 from the line.
Lincoln outrebounded Anderson 31-22. 
The Lady Bearcats had the high when it came to turnovers, with 22 to the Lady Pats’ 18.
“We hadn’t had a team press us in a while and I think it took us off guard  right at the start of the game,” McWhorter said of Lincoln’s high number of turnovers. “Once we settled down and once we got where we needed to be in our press break we were able to take care of the ball like we needed to and we did a better job of taking care of the ball. We had 12 had the halftime and we cut it in half in the second half.” 
Lincoln opens 45th District play Friday at home against Danville. The Lady Pats play at 6 p.m. and the boys game will follow.

at Lincoln Co.
1 2 3 4 F
Anderson 13 15 17 8 – 53
Lincoln 17 16 21 19 – 73

ANDERSON (10-4) – Sammy Rogers 7, Alorra Sims 13, Taylor Harley 15, Jaclyn Ruble 10, Lauren Boblitt 8. 
LINCOLN (9-4) – Emma King 20, Kaitlynn Wilks 14, Maddy Boyle 16, Jenna King 7, Logan Godbey 4, Haley Southerland 7, Trinity Shearer 5.