Lafayette pulls away late to beat Lincoln
Published 1:19 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017
LEXINGTON — Senior Chase Phillips put up a game-high 22 points in Lincoln’s season opener at Lafayette Tuesday night, but it wouldn’t be enough to help the Patriots notch the win as the host Generals surged late to win 74-58.
For over three quarters, Lincoln went toe-to-toe with Lafayette but the Generals used a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to distance themselves from the Patriots and set them on course for the victory.
“We had the score 49-45 with (5:46) to go and we had three good shots in a row to make a difference, then they go on a 10-0 run and we’re down 59-45 instead of 49-45,” Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said.
Fousseyni Diallo, who finished with 10 points, and Cameron King, who had 11 points, drained 3-pointers in the Lafayette scoring surge and Ray Surratt, who led the Generals with 19 points, and Eric Powell, who had 13, both hit inside to make it a 14-point game.
“They hit those two 3’s and it ends up 59-45 and then we had to start scrambling and chasing them. And we can’t scramble and chase them,” Jackson said.
Jaxon Smith, an eighth-grader who got his first varsity start at Lafayette, converted on a three-point play for Lincoln with 3:37 to play to end the Generals’ scoring run and make it 59-48. The Patriots would get no closer the rest of the way.
“I thought overall our kids played hard,” said Jackson. “I thought we did some good things. Again, if we hit a couple of those shots in the fourth, it takes away their run a little bit. We had one shot to cut it to one that just didn’t go in. All three teams (freshman, jv and varsity) come up here and played really, really well.”
Lincoln (0-1) had a tough time stopping Lafayette (1-0) in the early part of the game, with the Generals putting seven points up before the Patriots even got on the scoreboard. Surratt, who had a game-high eight rebounds, and King nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Generals started.
Phillips finally tallied for Lincoln with 5:06 left in the first quarter. The three-point play ignited a 12-5 scoring run. King hit another 3 for Lafayette and Diallo hit inside, meanwhile, Blake Smith sank two free throws for Lincoln, Spencer Baird went baseline for two and Phillips added a field goal and his own 3-pointer to tie the game at 12-12.
Lincoln trailed 15-12 with under a minute to play in the first only to have Frye and Phillips go inside for back-to-back buckets to nose the Pats up 16-15.
The Patriots’ biggest lead of the game was three points and that occurred twice in the second quarter. Blake Smith, who finished with nine points, scored the opening bucket of the second period to put Lincoln up 18-15 then Baird hit inside with 4:21 left in the half to make it 26-23.
The second quarter would see the most lead changes of the night, with nine of the game’s 10 lead changes happening in the period. The final lead change of the game came at the 1:35 mark of the third period. Bryson Yaden had just hit inside to nose Lincoln ahead 28-27 when Ean Shaw answered with his first bucket of the night to put Lafayette in front 29-28.
Lafayette took a 32-29 lead into the half and never trailed again. But Lincoln never threw in the towel.
Trailing 36-29 early in the third, Phillips and Riley Bodner, who finished with seven points, seven rebounds and two blocks, scored back-to-back buckets to get Lincoln back within 36-33. But Lafayette would respond with a 9-2 run to widen the gap. Powell nailed a 3-pointer and sank two free throws, Alassane Diallo added his own 3-pointer and Surratt sank one foul shot to extend the Generals’ lead to 45-35.
“Lafayette’s a good team and we knew they were very spurtable,” Jackson said. “We talked to our kids about stopping those spurts. We just couldn’t seem to stop them.”
Bodner scored five of his seven points in the closing minutes of the third quarter to trim Lafayette’s lead down to 47-41 going into the final frame.
Yaden scored Lincoln’s first two goals of the fourth to get the Pats within 49-45 before Lafayette pulled away to secure the win.
Lincoln connected on 51.1 percent of its shots compared to 47.4 percent for the Generals. However, Lafayette took 12 more shots, going 27-for-57, including 10-for-29 from 3. Lincoln was 23-for-45 overall, 4-for-13 from 3. Lafayette was 10-for-14 at the line while Lincoln was 8-for-10.
Turnovers hurt the Pats in the contest as they turned the ball over 21 times. The Generals, 10 times.
“I thought we played hard. We had 21 turnovers, which against their pressure with such a young team … We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Jackson said. “We’ve got some growing pains to do with our young kids. Our varsity kids did a lot of good things.”
“We’re going to get better,” he added. “We’ve just got to stay together, stay positive and help each other. We’ve got to take care of what we’re trying to do and that’s getting better every day.”
Lincoln 16 13 12 17 – 58
Lafayette 15 17 15 27 – 74
LINCOLN (0-1) – Bryson Yaden 6, Blake Smith 9, Elijah Frye 2, Chase Phillips 22, Spencer Baird 4, Riley Bodner 7, Jaxon Smith 5, Baylor Mattingly 3.
LAFAYETTE (1-0) – Eric Powell 13, Cameron King 11, TeAndre Newcombe 8, Fousseyni Diallo 10, Alassane Diallo 7, Ray Suratt 19, Devontae Hayes 4, Ean Shaw 2.