Lincoln girls more experienced, more comfortable
Published 3:46 pm Friday, December 2, 2022
This is no time to relax, but at least the Lincoln County girls have had time to get comfortable.
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The Lady Patriots’ level of comfort comes from having a full offseason under coach Jeff Jackson, and he’s hoping that will translate into more victories this season.
Jackson, who was interim head coach last season, returns along with a handful of veteran players who are eager to turn the team’s fortunes around.
Lincoln has been a program in transition since 2020, and Jackson became part of that transition last year as the team’s third coach in as many seasons. He was named interim coach in July 2021 and led the Lady Patriots to a 12-20 record, then was named head coach in April.
He returns along with several familiar faces, as Lincoln has more experience than it has had in some time.
“We have an experienced, hungry group coming back this season,” Jackson said.
Senior forward Chloe Ralston (6.6 points, 3.4 rebounds last season) has emerged as a leader for Lincoln. She figures to be a more prominent scoring and rebounding threat this season.
Another senior, center Emily Estes (8.1 points, 5.8 rebounds), made great strides last season and led the Lady Patriots in rebounding and is the top returning scorer.
Junior forward Elly Sims (3.9 points, 2.9 rebounds) adds to what figures to be a stronger front line, and junior guard MaKayla Greer (2.8 points, 2.4 rebounds) is expected to be the primary point guard.
Senior forward Mercedes Hensley and sophomore forward Hallie Mullins also have experience, and senior guard Emmie Releford returns to the team after a two-year absence.
Jackson said he is pleased with what he has seen from the Lady Patriots in the offseason and the preseason.
“The girls have been working hard and are getting more comfortable in new and expanded roles,” he said. “We are excited to see what the season holds in store for us.”
Lincoln last won the 45th District and last reached the 12th Region Tournament in 2019. The Patriots opened the season Tuesday against Lexington Catholic, and their schedule includes early-season games against Anderson County, Somerset, Pulaski County and Lafayette and Christmas tournaments at Lexington Catholic and Warren Central.
AT A GLANCE
Coach: James Jackson
2021-22 record: 12-20 (lost to Danville in 45th District semifinals)
Top returnees: MaKayla Greer, 5-5 Jr. G; Emily Estes, 6-0 Sr. C; Chloe Ralston, 5-11 Sr. F; Elly Sims, 5-9 Jr. F.
Top newcomers: Emmie Releford, 5-6 Sr. G.
Nov. 29 — LEXINGTON CATHOLIC, 7:30
Dec. 1 — at Anderson County, 8
Dec. 2 — SOMERSET, 7:30
Dec. 6 — at Pulaski County, 7:30
Dec. 9 — LAFAYETTE, 7:30
Dec. 10 — at East Jessamine, 3:30
Dec. 16 — at Whitley County, 8
Dec. 17-20 — a-Traditional Bank Holiday Classic
Dec. 27-29 — b-Vanous Lloyd Christmas Classic
Jan. 6 — BEREA, 6
Jan. 7 — GREAT CROSSING, 6
Jan. 10 — at Garrard County, 6
Jan. 13 — BOYLE COUNTY, 6
Jan. 17 — at Danville, 6
Jan. 20 — WEST JESSAMINE, 7:30
Jan. 23 — at Danville Christian, 6
Jan. 24 — at Madison Southern, 6
Jan. 27 — GARRARD COUNTY, 6
Jan. 31 — DANVILLE CHRISTIAN, 6
Feb. 3 — at Boyle County, 6
Feb. 4 — at Pineville, 4:30
Feb. 10 — DANVILLE, 6
Feb. 13 — at Wayne County, 7:30
Feb. 17 — at Casey County, 6
a-at Lexington Catholic
b-at Warren Central