Lincoln ‘smacked’ by Lafayette in opener

Published 1:29 pm Thursday, November 29, 2018

STANFORD — The Lincoln County boys basketball team started the 2018-19 season on a sour note, falling to Lafayette at home.

The Patriots were thoroughly outplayed on both sides of the ball at J.C. Eddleman Gymnasium Tuesday night, losing by a score of 52-37.

Lincoln (0-1) jumped out to the early lead, with Riley Bodner, Elijah Frye and Blake Smith pumping in the game’s first six points. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Lafayette would answer with its own run, exploding for nine unanswered points to go on top to stay, 9-6.

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Evan Dreux, who led Lafayette with 18 points, going 3-for-3 from 3, knocked down his first trey to ignite the Generals’ run and they never looked back.

Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson, whose team trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half, was not pleased with his team’s season-opening effort.

“I’m embarrassed by our mental preparation,” he said. “They played harder than we did. They coached better than we did. They played with a sense of urgency. They came in here and smacked us in the mouth and we didn’t respond very well and we didn’t shoot well, and we let that affect how we did things defensively.”

“When you’re not shooting well, you have to guard and rebound. And we didn’t do a very good job of either one.”

Jackson’s feelings about the game were not lessened even after the Patriots used a 13-1 run in the third quarter to whittle a 16-point deficit, 31-15, down to five points.

Senior guard Blake Smith, who had a game-high 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting, 4-for-8 from 3-points out, had eight of the 13 points in the run. Smith opened the run with a bucket then drained two 3-pointers as Lincoln pulled within 33-28 with 1:34 left in the third quarter. But the Pats would get no closer.

“We didn’t execute,” said Jackson. “We had it to five at the end of the third and we had the ball and we didn’t get a shot at the end of the quarter. Then they start the fourth quarter hitting back-to-back 3s. It was like, ‘Oh, man!’ We just didn’t step up and respond. We didn’t compete like we need to compete if we’re going to win games.”

Bryston Alcorn, who scored seven points off the bench, converted on a three-point play in the Lincoln run and Frye drove inside for a bucket.

Lincoln’s offense, which went 5:23 without a bucket in the second quarter as Lafayette built its biggest lead of the night, 30-10, would sputter again in the first 4:28 of the fourth quarter as the Generals cushioned their lead with a 13-0 scoring spurt.

Dreux and Caleb True, who finished with 10 points, hit the back-to-back 3s and True also added a layup. Then Ray Surratt, who double-doubled with 15 points and 14 rebounds, had a three-point play and a bucket in the paint to extend the lead to 46-28.

Lafayette (1-0) went on to outscore Lincoln 19-9 in the final period to earn the easy win.

“They’ve got a heck of a team and they came in here tonight and hit us in the mouth,” said Jackson. “We’ve got to learn to respond better and do a better job. And I’ve got to do a better job as a coach.”

“I’m embarrassed with how we played tonight. We just didn’t have any toughness, mentally or physically.”

Lincoln shot a chilly 29.2 percent from the field, connecting on just 14 of 48 shot attempts, 4-for-20 from 3-point range. The Patriots were just 5-for-6 from the foul line.

Lafayette finished at 36.2 percent from the field, going 17-for-47, 7-for-23 from 3-points out. At the line, the Generals were 11-for-20.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do and it’s going to be a process,” Jackson said. “Can we have a good team? Yes, but we’ve got to get better in all aspects of the game and just keep working and grinding and trying to get better.”

At Lincoln Co.
Lafayette 17 13 3 19 – 52
Lincoln 8 5 15 9 – 37

Lafayette (1-0) – Evan Dreux 18, Tyreke McCoy 3, Caleb True 10, Daniel Kinley 1, Campbell DeYoung 5, Ray Surratt 15.

Lincoln (0-1) – Bryston Alcorn 7, Blake Smith 20, Elijah Frye 4, Riley Bodner 6.