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MadSouth edges LC girls 41-40

STANFORD — Offensive struggles were on full display on the hardwood Monday night at J.C. Eddleman Gymnasium, as poor shooting doomed both Lincoln County and visiting Madison Southern.

The Lady Patriots shot an icy 25.9 percent and the Lady Eagles were only slightly better at 28 percent. The visitors ended up only slightly better than their hosts on the scoreboard, too, with Southern edging past Lincoln 41-40.

“It wasn’t good,” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “Shooting-wise it was an even game. We were 15-for-58 … They were 16-for-57. It just wasn’t a good night for shooting.”

Lincoln (11-11) outscored Southern 36-35 when the 2-point field goals and free throws  – Lady Pats were 6-for-10, the Lady Eagles 3-for-5 – were tallied on paper, but the Lady Eagles used a 6-for-22 effort from 3-point effort to make up the difference and earn the win. The Lady Patriots were 4-for-22 from 3.

For McWhorter, whose Lady Patriots played well in the Toyota Classic at Georgetown despite going 1-2 in the tournament, the return to Lincoln’s home floor was disappointing.

“It’s not the way I wanted to come back from the Toyota Classic, back to our home floor and show the home fans, especially the ones outside the parents that didn’t get to see us play up there, because we did play some really good basketball when we were up there,” she said. “We didn’t show that tonight. We didn’t play the way that we’ve been playing or really moving the ball.”

Southern (11-8) showed no sign of struggling when it came to rebounding, as the Lady Eagles dominated 45-28 on the glass, led by Aleigh Richardson with 12 rebounds and Sam Cornelison with 10 boards. Talynne Shearer was Lincoln’s leading rebounder with eight boards and Haleigh Ellison and Savannah Robbins each had six.

According to McWhorter, Lincoln has been experiencing rebounding woes in several recent games.

“We struggled at the Toyota Classic with some rebounding issues, especially against Simon Kenton. Scott County’s big and tall and I thought we did a better job rebounding against them than we did Simon Kenton, which there’s a reason they’re the No. 2 team in the state. But even against Great Crossing, we’ve given up a lot, especially offensive rebounds. Tonight we were lopsided,” she said.

The Lady Patriots led for almost 22 of the first 24 minutes of the game. Trinity Shearer, who had a game-high 18 points, scored a layup off the opening tip for the team’s first lead. Sam Cornelison, who had 10 points for Southern, answered to give the visitors their first lead only to have Lincoln respond with an 8-0 run. Haleigh Releford, who finished with 12 points, scored seven of the points, including a 3-pointer, to put the Lady Patriots up 10-3. Lincoln led 11-5 at the end of one.

Southern opened the second quarter with its own run to erase the Lady Pat lead. Cornelison scored first for the Lady Eagles, Skylar Sparks followed with a 3-point goal and Aleigh Richardson added a bucket before Macie Daniels, who scored 10 points in the win, sank two free throws for a 14-11 Southern edge.

Lincoln regained its lead before the break. Trinity Shearer, who scored 10 of her 18 points in the first half, bombed in a 3-pointer, went inside for a bucket and sank two free throws in the final 3:01 of the second quarter. Her sister, Talynne Shearer, scored two layups to help Lincoln to a 22-19 halftime lead.

The Lady Patriots posted the game’s largest lead, 30-22, with 3:00 showing in the third quarter following two Trinity Shearer treys and a Releford bucket. The Lady Eagles surged after Releford’s layup, though, rolling off nine unanswered points to pull within 32-31. Daniels had three field goals in the run and Sunni Walters hit from 3.

Cornelison put up a jumper late and Walters closed the third with her second 3 of the game to put the Lady Eagles on top for good, 36-33.

Lincoln, which  trailed by as many as five points, 40-35, in the fourth quarter, faced a 41-37 deficit when Skylar Sparks scored Southern’s final point of the game, a free throw, with plenty of time, 3:43, left in the game.

But Lincoln wasn’t able to take advantage of Southern’s scoring drought . Releford sank a free throw toss at the 2:54 mark and Ellison scored a layup with 1:09 to go to make it 41-40. The Lady Patriots took three more shots in the closing seconds but none would fall.

“We still had some good looks. I thought we had some good attacks at the basket. The ball just didn’t go in the hole,” said McWhorter. “Good look there from 3 Trin took there at the end. But down one, I’d like to see us attack the rim and put the pressure on officials to have to make a call or at least get something going to the basket.”

“We’re definitely going to watch this film and see what there is to learn from it,” she added. “We talked about, too, that we’d like to see more assists. We only had six assists tonight where we’ve been having 10, 12 and higher. That’s when we’re really being productive and good things are happening as well. A positive – we only had seven turnovers. We’ve been struggling to keep that under 12.”

At Lincoln Co.

MadSo. 5 14 17 5 – 41

Lincoln 11 11 11 7 – 40

MADISON SOUTHERN (11-8) – Sunni Walters 6, Samantha Cornelison 10, Macie Daniels 10, Morgan Flannery 3, Aleigh Richardson 4, Skylar Sparks 8

LINCOLN (11-11) – Trinity Shearer 18, Haleigh Releford 12, Haleigh Ellison 5, Talynne Shearer 4, Lydia Rice 1.