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Shearer pours in 28 points in Lady Pats’ first win

STANFORD — Senior guard Trinity Shearer poured in 28 points – over half of her team’s total – to power the Lincoln County girls’ basketball team to its first win of the season, a 54-45 victory over visiting Wayne County Monday at the J.C. Eddleman Gymnasium.

Lincoln (1-3) led from start to finish, opening play on a 5-0 run. The Lady Patriots led by as many as 18 points and held off a late surge by the Lady Cardinals to post the win.

“A huge relief to get that first win,” Lincoln County girls coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “I know the girls were happy to get the ‘W.’ I’m just proud of them.”

Lincoln was playing with heavy hearts and without one of its starters Monday. Junior guard Haleigh Releford did not attend the game as she was home with her family following news that her dad, Jamie Releford, has been diagnosed with cancer.

“Playing without one of our starters is tough and, right now, she’s been our leading scorer in three games, her and Trin have been up there,” said McWhorter. “There’s been a lot going on today. They’re concerned with their teammate as well as her not being here and things going on with her family. I’m proud of them to overcome obstacles off the floor and pull together. It was a good win and gets us some confidence moving into the next game.”

Before the opening tip, the Lady Patriots and Lady Cardinals gathered in a large circle on the floor and were led in prayer by Savannah Robbins.

Shearer, who had averaged 9.3 points in Lincoln’s first three games, surpassed her average in the opening frame, tallying 11 points as the Lady Patriots opened up a 16-6 first-quarter lead.

Chloe Ralston bombed in a game-opening 3-pointer then went baseline for a bucket midway through the period and Shearer put up the rest of the points. Shearer nailed two 3-pointers, went inside for two buckets and added a free-throw toss.

Mallory Campbell, who led Wayne with 17 points, handled all the Lady Cardinals’ scoring in the first quarter. She got Wayne (0-3) on the scoreboard with a three-point play at the 5:07 mark. She also added a field goal and a free throw.

Campbell collected five more points in the second quarter to help the Lady Cardinals pull within two points, sinking two buckets and a foul shot to make it 20-18 with 46 seconds left in the first half.

Lincoln would take a 26-18 lead into the break, however, with Talynne Shearer draining back-to-back 3-pointers, including a buzzer-beater.

The margin remained unchanged at the end of the third period, with both teams scoring nine points for a 35-27 ballgame heading into the fourth quarter.

An 11-1 scoring run to open the fourth quarter pushed Lincoln to its largest lead of the night, 18 points. Trinity Shearer opened the run with a layup off a Lydia Rice assist then converted on a three-point play later in the run. Hailee Reed added a layup and Rice scored two buckets, including one with 5:20 in the game to cushion the Lady Pat lead to 46-28.

Lincoln needed every point in that cushion to hold Wayne at bay as the Lady Cardinals closed on a 17-8 run. Haleigh Criswell, who finished with 16 points for Wayne, scored seven points in the run to help her team pull within 52-45.

Lincoln used the foul line to preserve the win, though, knocking down 8 of 12 free throw attempts. 

“We had a pretty comfortable lead and we need to learn how to keep that lead,” said McWhorter who went to her bench freely the second half. “But I definitely wanted to make sure I got everybody rotated in and things like that. Credit to them. They knocked down a few shots there in the corner. We’ve got to get better at knocking down free throws, as well, when we’re getting fouled there late in the game and they’re putting us on the foul line.”

“That’’ll keep coming. I’m proud of them and just excited that we could get that win and get us rolling and keep moving on into the season.”

McWhorter was not pleased with her team’s effort in Friday’s loss to Rockcastle. She was much happier after Monday’s win.

“The effort was there,” she said. “Of course, as coaches, it’s easy to have that effort, it seems like, when the balls are going in the hole early. And the ball … We were attacking well and we hit a couple shots early and that’s easier to put a little pep in your step. But I want to see that consistent effort. You put the uniform on and you strap up your shoes. I just want to see that intensity and heart in every play whether that ball is going in the hole or not. It was tonight and I’m pleased.”

At Lincoln Co.

Wayne 6 12 9 18 – 45

Lincoln 16 10 9 19 – 54

WAYNE (0-3) – Mariah Bowlin 4, Jade Turner 5, Haleigh Criswell 16, Adeline Heatherly 2, Kenzie Upchurch 1, Mallory Campbell 17.

LINCOLN (1-3) – Trinity Shearer 28, Chloe Ralston 5, Talynne Shearer 8, Hailee Reed 2, Lydia Rice 6, Abby Lane 2, Emily Estes 2, Alyvia Taylor 1.