Lincoln girls pummel Pulaski 75-22 in season opener

Published 1:32 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

STANFORD — The Lincoln County Lady Patriot basketball team had its foot on the gas in its 2017-18 season opener Monday night, running over visiting Pulaski County 75-22.

The Lady Patriots (1-0) led from start to finish in the season’s tipoff at J.C. Eddleman Gymnasium, shutting out the Lady Maroons for almost the first five minutes of the game as they exploded out to a 16-0 lead and never looked.

Lincoln was led to the victory by a trio of double-digit scoring juniors – Emma King, Kaitlynn Wilks and Maddy Boyle. King scored almost as many points individually as Pulaski did as a team, finishing with 21 points, along with five assists, five steals and four rebounds. Wilks followed close behind with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds and Boyle swished in 14 points with six rebounds and four assists.

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“It’s a great win. Of course, anytime you get a win the first game of the season, it’s a good start,” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “ But you know you’ve still got a long road ahead of you and that’s why it’s a season. You’ve got to take it game-by-game and not all game’s are maybe going to come as easy as the one did tonight.”

Pulaski (0-1) lost most of its starting lineup from last year’s 16-13 team and is mostly comprised of freshmen, sophomores and middle schoolers this year. And that inexperience showed Monday, with the Lady Maroons having no answer for the Lady Patriots’ experience, speed, defense and fire power.

“Pulaski lost a lot last year with the seniors that graduated and they had some kids that moved. So they are down a lot,” McWhorter said.   

The Lincoln mentor commended her team for playing “Lady Patriot basketball,” despite the different experience levels of the two teams. 

“One of the things we talked about before this game was being focused,” McWhorter said. “We want to keep our mentality, mental toughness no matter who we are playing. I talked to them about that before the game and it’s something we discuss year in and year out, and it’s really a focus of mine this year that, when we put on that uniform, we play the way we play. I don’t care who our opponent is.”

“I thought they did a good job of maintaining that focus tonight and just continued to play like we needed to play no matter the opponent.”

Lincoln, which finished at 54.2 percent from the field on 32-for-59 shooting, opened on a 7 of 11 run to jump ahead 16-0. Madelyn Dunn, who led Pulaski with nine points, finally knocked the goose egg off the Lady Maroons’ side of the scoreboard with 3:03 left in the first quarter.

Pulaski, which shot an icy 17.1 percent from the field (7-for-41), had three points at the end of the first quarter, with Dunn adding a free throw toss for a 22-3 margin.

Lincoln held Pulaski to single digits in every frame. The closest the Lady Maroons came to double figures in the game was the second quarter when they put up nine points. The Lady Patriots’ 21 points in the period made it 43-12 at the half.

Lincoln outscored Pulaski 22-8 in the third to post a 65-20 lead and the fourth quarter passed quickly thanks to a running clock.

The Lady Patriots outrebounded the Lady Maroons 39-17, with 14 offensive boards to PC’s six. Lincoln had 16 assists, 14 steals and 13 turnovers compared to three assists, five steals and 19 turnovers for Pulaski.

“It was good to go against somebody besides ourselves tonight. They needed that,” McWhorter said. “It’s good to get that first game under our belt and I’m happy for the kids to get the ‘W.’”  

at Lincoln Co.

Pulaski 3 9 8 2 – 22
Lincoln 22 21 22 10 – 75

PULASKI (0-1) – Haylee Ridner 4, Ashlynn Pennington 7, Madelyn Dunn 9, Madelyn Blankenship 2. 

LINCOLN (1-0) – Emma King 21, Kaitlynn Wilks 16, Maddy Boyle 14, Trinity Shearer 5, Zaria Napier 6, Anna Lane 6, Courtney Snow 3, Cheyenne Releford 4.