Lincoln tops Rockets

Published 10:28 am Friday, December 7, 2018

MT. VERNON — The Lincoln County Patriot basketball team managed to get its first win of the season against Rockcastle County, 59-48, Friday at Rock Arena.

Lincoln (1-1) outshot Rockcastle (0-1) as the Patriots went 22-for-48 from the field for 45.8 percent and the Rockets finished 14-for-42 for 33.3 percent. Lincoln struggled from long range, going 1-for-11. Rockcastle was 6-for-21 from 3.

For Patriot coach Jeff Jackson, Lincoln’s poor 3-point shooting overshadowed the victory.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well again,” he said. “We played a little bit harder than what we did the other night (Lafayette loss), but we’re 1-for-11 from 3. We’re a good shooting team. I know it’s hard to believe that after these first two games, but these kids can shoot the ball. We’re not yet. So we’re hoping that that will come and get us sort of in a rhythm. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Leading the charge for the Patriots were senior guard Blake Smith and junior center Riley Bodner. Smith led Lincoln with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting. He also had four assists and four steals. Bodner finished with 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting.

Lincoln jumped ahead 10-4 early in the first, with Smith going baseline for a bucket, Bodner also hitting inside, Bryson Yaden putting up a jumper and Jaxon Smith hitting back-to-back buckets.

Rockcastle would end the first on a 7-2 run to close the gap to 12-11. Cade Burdette drained a 3-pointer to open the run, Matthew Chasteen hit inside then Isaac Stratton, who had a game-high 17 points, going 11-for-17 at the foul line, closed the first with two free throws.

The Rockets stretched that run to 13-2, opening the second quarter with 3-pointers by Josiah West and Burdette to go up 17-12.

Bodner, who scored Lincoln’s first eight points of the second quarter, went on a 6-0 run to start, pushing in three straight buckets in the paint to give the lead back to the Patriots, 18-17.

Rockcastle retook the lead, 20-18, off a Daniel Mullins 3-pointer and showed a 24-20 advantage with 2:48 left in the half. But Lincoln would push back ahead before the break, with Bryston Alcorn bombing in a 3-pointer and Darius Napier pumping in the last five points of the half to make it 28-24, Patriots. Napier scored the two buckets off a turnover and a steal.

Bodner finished with a double-double in the win, grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds to go with his 13 points. He had three blocked shots. Napier, a senior guard, just missed double figures, tallying nine points on 3-for-4 shooting.

“We got good minutes out of Riley and Sawyer (Carrier) at the 5 tonight,” said Jackson. “They played really,really well in there together. They did a lot of good things, the both of them. We’re real pleased with what they did.”

“ And Darius … he came off the bench and had nine. He did some good things and got a couple transition baskets when we needed them.”

Lincoln maintained the lead until the final buzzer, however, the Rockets wouldn’t go away.

Rockcastle got within two points twice in the third quarter, 28-26 and 32-30, each time off two Stratton free throws.

But Lincoln held to a 37-32 lead going into the fourth period then closed on a 22-16 run for the win.

“We’ve got to make better decisions, take better shots. When we’ve got the lead, we’ve got to play like we’ve got the lead and not play like we’re behind. We got out of position so many times defensively,” said Jackson. “We played harder, I thought, but we’ve got to play harder. We did what we had to do. Hit some shots when we needed to, got a steal or two here or there. We’ve just got a lot of work to do.”

“This is not an easy place to play, either,” he added. “They have a good crowd and they’ve got four starters back. They’ve got a nice team and he (Coach Andrew Cash) works them hard and they play hard. It was a battle. We knew it would be coming in here.”

At Rockcastle Co.
Lincoln 12 16 9 22 – 59
Rockcastle 11 13 8 16 – 48

LINCOLN (1-1) – Bryston Alcorn 6, Bryson Yaden 4, Blake Smith 16, Elijah Frye 4, Darius Napier 9, Jaxon Smith 6, Sawyer Carrier 1, Riley Bodner 13.
ROCKCASTLE (0-1) – Trevor Todd 2, Cade Burdette 9, Bentley Taylor 2, Isaac Stratton 17, Daniel Mullins 9, Josiah West 7, Matthew Chasteen 2.