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Lincoln girls hand Boyle its sixth straight loss

STANFORD  — The Lincoln County Lady Patriots completed a sweep of 45th District rival Boyle County Friday night, overcoming an early deficit to beat the Lady Rebels 62-51.

The Lady Patriots improved to 12-11 overall and 4-1 in the district, with three of those district wins against Boyle. The loss was the sixth straight defeat suffered by the Lady Rebels, who fell to 7-14 overall, 1-5 in the district.

The Lady Rebels didn’t play like a team on a five-game skid as the game opened, as Boyle jumped out to a 7-0 lead. But the Lady Patriots wouldn’t stay down for long, answering Boyle’s opening blitz with a 14-1 run. And Lincoln never looked back.

“They came out ready to play, hit us in the mouth early but I’m very, very proud of how our girls responded,” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “I’ve told them before, somebody jumps on us 6-0, 7-0, 8-0 … if it had gotten to 8-0 I was about to call the TO. But I want them to learn to play through a little adversity and their back against the wall a little bit when I know it’s still a reachable amount, especially early in the game and the atmosphere that it is with a district game.”

Alyssa Wray and Emily Glasscock knocked down a bucket apiece to get Boyle started and Keely Bowling bombed in a 3 for a 7-0 advantage before Trinity Shearer drove inside for layup to ignite the 14-1 Lady Pat run. Her sister, Talynne Shearer added a 3-pointer and a bucket in the run, Chloe Ralston also bombed in a 3 and sank two free throws and Haleigh Releford scored a layup to put Lincoln on top for good, 14-8.

Lincoln’s opening bucket would be the only points tallied by Trinity Shearer, as the senior guard went down with an ankle injury with 4:15 to play in the first quarter. 

Shearer did not return to action, and McWhorter knew she wouldn’t when she didn’t get up on her own.

“Trinity is a tough bird. If she goes down and doesn’t pop right back up, then you know she’s really hurting. I’ve seen her turn her ankle before and pop right back, and she didn’t pop back up tonight,” she said.

Ralston, who came off the bench to replace Shearer after she went down, led Lincoln in the win with 17 points on 3-for-3 shooting from 3-point range,  6-for-8 from the foul line. She capped the first quarter with her second 3 to make it 17-12, Lady Pats.

Talynne Shearer, who pushed in 14 points for Lincoln on 5-for-6 shooting, went baseline to open the second-quarter scoring. The Lady Patriots led by as many as seven points in the period, with Haleigh Releford hitting a jumper at the 5:27 mark to make it 23-16 then Savannah Robbins hitting inside with 4:28 showing for a 25-18 margin.

Peyton Bugg, who finished with 16 points for the Lady Rebels on 3-for-11 shooting, 8-for-12 at the line, pulled Boyle within one point, 27-26, with 1:50 left in the first half. The freshman guard drove inside for a bucket then stepped back outside to drain a 3-pointer.

Lincoln extended its lead to 34-28 by the half, though, with a 3-pointer by Ralston, two free throws from Robbins and a quarter-ending bucket by Haleigh Ellison off an inbounds pass. 

The Lady Rebels had trimmed the Lady Pat lead back to two by the end of the third quarter. After facing a deficit of four to seven points for most of the third, Boyle closed on a 5-0 run to get within a basket. Glasscock opened the run with a three-point play before Wray, who led Boyle with a game-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting, hit inside for a 41-39 ballgame.

“She’s hard to handle,” McWhorter said of Wray. “(Emily) Estes’ injury … she’s a freshman that gives you a big body at least in there on Wray. Lydia (Rice) and Savannah (Robbins) and (Haleigh) Ellison did everything they could inside with her. But she’s gradually improving and becoming a better player and she was tough tonight inside for us and had a really good game.”

While Boyle never overtook Lincoln, the Lady Rebels threatened to do just that in the fourth quarter, tying the game up at 43, 45 and 46. Wray scored in the paint with 6:30 to play for the 43-43 tie, Glasscock scored a layup with 5:20 left to make it 45-45 then Wray sank a foul shot to make it 46-all with 4:45 remaining in the game.

However, Lincoln would stave off Boyle’s rally effort, closing the game on a 16-5 run to secure the win.

“I was proud of how they (Lady Pats) responded. We went on that 14-1 run and we just kind of never looked back. Very proud, especially the fourth quarter where we outscored them 21-something (12).”

McWhorter said she was especially pleased with how the team responded after losing Trinity Shearer early in the game.

“We had all-around, different people step up,” she said. “Chloe (Ralston) coming back off an ankle sprain from the last time we played Boyle two weeks ago. I thought she stepped up and made some huge 3’s, especially early in the game that were needed to stretch that lead out. Alyvia Taylor doesn’t get a lot of varsity clock … Her basketball IQ is high. I knew her time was coming. Her number was called tonight and she came in and stepped up and did a great job.”

“All around the locker room we had people step up and make big plays and that’s what team basketball is about.”

Lincoln shot 47.6 percent from the field overall, going 20-for-42, 5-for-9 from 3-point range. The Lady Pats were 17-for-22 at the foul line.

Boyle shot 34.7 percent from the field, going 17-for-49, 4-for-17 from 3. The Lady Rebels were 13-for-20 at the line.

Boyle edged Lincoln 27-26 on the boards, led by Wray with seven rebounds. Talynne Shearer also had seven boards to lead Lincoln.

At Lincoln Co.

Boyle 12 16 11 12 – 51

Lincoln 17 17 7 21 – 62

BOYLE (7-14, 1-5) – Kelsea Hinkle 3, Emily Glasscock 9, Peyton Bugg 16, Keely Bowling 3, Alyssa Wray 20

LINCOLN (12-11, 4-1) – Trinity Shearer 2, Haleigh Releford 8, Chloe Ralston 17, Haleigh Ellison 7, Talynne Shearer 14, Ally Lynn 4, Lydia Rice 2, Alyvia Taylor 4..