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McWhorter disappointed in Lady Pat effort in loss to Rock

STANFORD — In reviewing Lincoln County’s 66-37 loss to Rockcastle County Friday night, Lady Patriot coach Cassandra McWhorter paused repeatedly in trying to describe her team’s effort.

“There is one thing coaches should not have to coach and that’s effort,” she said. “I was just trying to scrap to see who was going to give me effort tonight from start to finish. We picked our intensity and effort up the fourth quarter and outscored them, but we weren’t seeing that for most of the game.”

The Lady Patriots (0-2) struggled to get many shots to fall inside J.C. Eddleman Gymnasium, shooting an icy 21 percent from the field while the Lady Rockets shot 47 percent. Lincoln was 12-for-56 overall, 2-for-16 from 3-point range. At the line, the team converted on 11 of 20 free throws. Rockcastle was 25-for-53 for the game, 6-for-17 from 3. The team was 10-for-19 at the foul line.

Lincoln led only once in the game, with Trinity Shearer and Chloe Ralston scoring back-to-back buckets to edge the Lady Pats ahead 6-5 midway through the first quarter. But Rockcastle would answer with four straight 3-pointers to grow their lead to 17-9.

Kenzi Himes, one of four Lady Rockets in double figures with 10 points, nailed the first 3 to ignite the 12-3 run. Lindsey Jones was the next to hit a trey, followed by Hallie Brown, who had a game-high 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Shelby Newland.

The Lady Pats were within 17-12 late in the first after a Shearer 3-pointer but Brown capped the quarter with a bucket in the paint for a 19-12 Lady Rocket lead.

“You’ve got to give credit to Rockcastle. They came out and knocked down four of their six 3’s in the first quarter and we missed some easy shots and it kind of took some air out of us,” said McWhorter.

Lincoln would continue to miss its shots in the second quarter, going without a bucket for the first 5 minutes, 6 seconds of the period. Meanwhile, Rockcastle’s offense was racking up the points, outscoring Lincoln 20-5 to take a 39-17 lead at the half.

“You can’t have a 20-5 quarter like that. We were only down seven after the first,” said McWhorter. “In the second quarter, the coaching staff is kind of looking like, ‘Where are we?’ We’re trying to find ones that are wanting to be out there because, honestly, there in the second quarter … We were just trying to find somebody that looked like they wanted to be on the floor and was going to give effort.”

Rockcastle never looked back.

Rockcastle (1-0) outscored Lincoln 17-8 in the third quarter to take a 56-25 lead into the final period. The Lady Patriots would outscore the Lady Rockets in the fourth quarter, but the 12-10 advantage was not enough to overcome the early deficit.

“Not the spark that we had the other night against South Laurel by no means,” said McWhorter. “I know Rockcastle deserves credit for some of how we played, but intensity and effort has to be there. You always have to have intensity and effort.”

Haleigh Releford led Lincoln in scoring with nine points.

Casey Coleman and Keelee King both finished in double figures for Rockcastle with 12 points for Coleman and 10 for King. 

The Lady Rockets outrebounded the Lady Pats 41-33. Haleigh Ellison led Lincoln on the glass with seven boards. Shearer and Savannah Robbins had five rebounds apiece.

At Lincoln Co.

Rockcastle 19 20 17 10 – 66

Lincoln 12 5 8 12 – 37

ROCKCASTLE (1-0) – Shelby Newland 8, Casey Coleman 12, Keelee King 10, Hallie Brown 13, Kenzi Himes 10, Lindsey Jones 8, Aliyah Lopez 5.

LINCOLN (0-2) – Trinity Shearer 7, Haleigh Releford 9, Hailee Reed 1, Ally Lynn 2, Chloe Ralston 4, Savannah Robbins 5, Haleigh Ellison 3, Talynne Shearer 6.