Lincoln girls defeat No. 1 Scott Co.

Published 10:31 am Thursday, January 24, 2019

GEORGETOWN — Scott County is undefeated no more.

At 18-0, the No. 1 Lady Cardinals were the only undefeated team left in the state going into Friday’s Toyota Classic, but No. 7 Lincoln County knocked them from the ranks of the unbeatens with a 79-69 victory.

Four Lady Patriots hit double figures in the win with Emma King leading the way with 22 points. Kaitlynn Wilks finished right on King’s heels with 21 points, Maddy Boyle had 13 points and Zaria Napier had 10 points. Napier had a double-double effort in the win, grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds as Lincoln took down the last unbeaten team.

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“This was a great gut-check win,” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “This was a game to say, ‘We know what we’re capable of. Let’s go prove to everybody else what we’re capable of and stick together and play as a team.’ And, man, it’s fun when they do that. And then the results you get when you do that, it’s spectacular. They are a special group. This is a fun win.”

At the conclusion of the game, there was no big celebration on the floor for knocking off the No. 1 team. No, the Lady Patriots staged no celebration, moving immediately to the sideline postgame to shake hands with the Lady Cardinals.

“I told them, ‘Remember, we have another game tomorrow. Let’s not get so wound up in this one. Let’s enjoy it for a moment, but let’s go finish it.’ This is a classic that’s going to prepare us for tournament down the stretch so I told them to ‘make sure we come finish what we want to do (tourney win).’”

The subdued celebration may have also been the result of a few words from McWhorter during the final timeout of the game.

“They wouldn’t have overly done it (celebration), but I told them in that last timeout (49.3 seconds to go), ‘Make sure when we win this, celebrate and congratulate each other. Don’t act like you just won the Super Bowl,’” she said. “This is routine. This is what we do.”

Lincoln (15-2) led for most of the game. After three lead changes in the first quarter, Trinity Shearer bombed in a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 37 seconds on the clock that put the Lady Pats up 13-11 and ignited a 10-2 run. King followed with a basket then Wilks scored on a dump pass from Boyle to make it 17-13 after one. Shearer capped off the run at the start of the second quarter, going inside to extend Lincoln’s lead to 19-13.

Scott was back within 19-18 after a Maaliya Owens 3-pointer and a rebound and putback by Malea Williams, one of 19 boards for the Lady Cardinals’ towering center. However, the Lady Patriots would answer with a 16-7 scoring tear to cushion their lead. King converted on a three-point play to open the run, Anna Lane followed with a 3-pointer, Boyle hit inside, King added two more free throws and Wilks had a bucket and two free throws to give Lincoln a 35-25 advantage.

The Lady Cardinals would have the deficit back in single digits before the break, with Braylee McMath, who finished with 11 points, draining a 3-pointer and Owens, who had a game-high 24 points, hitting a jumper and a buzzer-beating 3 to make it 37-33 at the half.

Scott would continue to whittle away at the Lincoln lead in the third.

Lincoln upped its lead to 39-33 off a second-half opening goal by Boyle but Scott would rally behind a 13-8 scoring run to overtake the Lady Patriots. Morgan DeFoor, who finished with 13 points, opened the run with a free throw toss then later added a baseline bucket and two more foul shots. Owens went 3-for-3 at the foul line and nailed a 3-pointer, Williams added a bucket and Kenady Tompkins hit a trey to edge Scott ahead 49-48 with 3:32 left in the third.

King scored off a Boyle steal to put Lincoln back on top only to have DeFoor sink two foul shots for Scott to make it 51-50. Napier bombed in a 3-pointer to give the lead back to Lincoln, 53-51, and, after a game-tying bucket by DeFoor, Wilks stepped to the foul line for two free throws to put Lincoln on top to stay, 55-53.

Scott was within 58-57 at the end of the third quarter, but would get no closer. The Lady Cardinals had the deficit down to 68-65 with 2:40 to play after two free throws by Tompkins before the Lady Patriots answered with an 11-4 closing run. King kickstarted the run with two free throws then went coast-to-coast off a steal to make it 72-65. Lincoln iced the win at the free throw line, sinking 7 of 11 foul shots in the final 1:20. Napier was 3-for-5 at the line, Boyle went 2-for-2 and Lane and Shearer were both 1-for-2.

“This was a fun ballgame, if you were a spectator. For me, there were a lot of nerves on the sideline,” said McWhorter. “I’m proud of our team in how they kept their composure late in the game. We had people step up and make big buckets to stretch the lead back out when they cut it to one or two. They even took the lead late. When they started having to foul we stepped up and knocked down free throws. To overcome that, step back up and extend it back out was huge. Keeping our composure was huge.”

Neither team shot the ball that well, with Lincoln shooting 40 percent from the field (24-for-60) and 3-point range (8-20) while Scott was at 31.8 percent from the field (21-for-66) and 29.4 percent from 3 (10-for-34). The Lady Patriots were 23-for-29 at the foul line while the Lady Cardinals were 17-for-25.

Lincoln edged Scott on the boards 46-45. Shearer had eight rebounds for the Lady Pats and Wilks and King both had seven.

Both teams had nine turnovers.

“It lived up to what people thought it was going to be,” McWhorter said of the Lincoln-Scott matchup. “There were quite a few people here to watch this game. I’m proud of what we did.”

Toyota Classic
At Scott Co. Middle School

Lincoln 17 20 21 21 – 79
Scott 13 20 24 12 – 69

LINCOLN (15-2) -Emma King 22, Kaitlynn Wilks 21, Maddy Boyle 13, Trinity Shearer 9, Zaria Napier 10, Anna Lane 4.

SCOTT (18-1) – Morgan DeFoor 13, Braylee McMath 11, Malea Williams 4, Kenady Tompkins 9, Maaliya Owens 24, Juliette Smith 6, Kaylie Wise 2.