Pats put away Pulaski early

Published 11:23 am Friday, January 11, 2019

STANFORD — Blake Smith scored a game-high 19 points, Elijah Frye put up 14 points and Riley Bodner added 10 points as the Lincoln County boys rolled to a 71-41 win over visiting Pulaski County Tuesday night at J.C. Eddleman Gymnasium.

The Patriots (11-6) never trailed in the 12th Region matchup, with Lincoln opening on an 8-1 run. The scoring surge wouldn’t stop there. Smith, Bryson Yaden and Frye would hit three straight 3-pointers as the Patriots closed on a 13-6 run to extend their lead to 21-9 and set the team on course for the rout.

“We shot the ball awful well, but I thought our defense was really, really good,” Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said. “Our 2-3, we were active out of it for the second game. We were real active against Hopkinsville and we contested real well. We did a good job of contesting some shots tonight.”

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Lincoln shot 62.8 percent from the field in the win, connecting on 27 of 43 shot attempts, 10-for-16 from 3-point range. The Patriots held the Maroons to just 31.6 percent overall, 12-for-38 from the field, 2-for-17 from 3.

Pulaski (9-6) never threatened the Lincoln lead. The rout was on in the first half as the Patriots followed their explosive first quarter with a 26-8 scoring surge to put the team up 47-17 at the half. Lincoln led by as many as 40 points in the second half, with the running clock invoked two minutes into the third quarter.

Had Jackson foreseen a possible blowout before the opening tip?

“Sometimes those things just happen,” he said. “They’re very good. We knew how good they were. We had a good practice yesterday. We had a good walk-through today.”

“They had a big game last night. They played Somerset on the road in a big district game for them (88-81 loss). They came in here and I thought we stepped up and played well tonight, and I thought we moved the ball well. I thought our defense was good and led to some offensive baskets.”

Smith scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half. Smith, who was 7-for-10 overall, 3-for-5 from 3-point range, had nine points in the first quarter, including six in the Patriots’ 8-1 opening run. He added six in the second. Frye scored most of his points in the first half as well. He had 11 of his 14 points at the break. Frye was 5-for-5 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3.

It was a Frye basket that started the running clock in the game. Smith started the second half with a free-throw toss and Yaden followed with a 3-pointer. After a Jacob Combs free throw, Frye drove inside to put Lincoln up 53-18 with 6:01 left in the third quarter.

Each of Lincoln’s trio of double-digit scorers had over half of their points at halftime. Bodner, who was 5-for-5 from the field for his 10 points, went into the halftime break with six points. He opened the night’s scoring, and Lincoln’s 8-1 run, with a bucket in the paint. The Lincoln center also had six rebounds in a 25-23 Patriot win on the glass.

Jaxon Smith and Yaden led Lincoln in the rebounding win, with each grabbing seven rebounds. Pulaski’s KJ Combs also had seven boards to lead the Maroons.

Pulaski did not have a single player in double digits Tuesday, with Jacob Combs’ nine points the team high. Grant Oaks followed with eight points and Barek Williams had seven.

“It was a good win. Anytime we get a win, it’s a good win,” Jackson said. “Our leadership is starting to get better and come to the forefront a little bit. We’re starting to be a little bit more vocal and doing a better job leading and helping to find some things that we need to find, which is what seniors are supposed to do.”

“We’re trying to improve. We’ve just got to keep battling and keep trying,” he added. “We’ve got a tough one in here Friday., a big, big district game (Boyle County). We’ve got to make sure we try to get ready and go.”

At Lincoln Co.
Pulaski 9 8 12 12 – 41
Lincoln 21 26 20 4 – 71
PULASKI (9-6) – Kaleb Adams 5, Barek Williams 7, Colton Fraley 5, KJ Combs 2, Grant Oaks 8, Garrett Heath 4, Caleb Sloan 1, Jacob Combs 9.
LINCOLN (11-6) – Bryston Alcorn 5, Bryson Yaden 6, Blake Smith 19, Elijah Frye 14, Darius Napier 6, Jaxon Smith 8, Baylor Mattingly 3, Riley Bodner 10.