Lincoln stays atop district with 2OT win over DCA

Published 1:06 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023

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Contributing Writer

STANFORD — The Lincoln County Patriots may be wearing some bite marks, but they’re still the top dogs in the 45th District.

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They won another dogfight in the 12th Region’s most competitive district Tuesday night, outlasting Danville Christian 65-55 in double overtime to remain firmly atop the district standings.

Lincoln survived a late comeback, took the game to overtime and took control in the second extra period to win its 12th consecutive game and remain unbeaten against 45th District and 12th Region foes.

Such tussles are nothing new for the Patriots, who rallied from a 12-point deficit to win its first meeting with DCA a week earlier and who have plenty of experience in close games.

“That’s what we’re used to, so it’s easier on us when we get in situations like that,” Lincoln guard Tramane Alcorn said. “Coach preaches when we get in those situations to just keep our composure and keep fighting.”

Lincoln has been in a slew of big games over the past two seasons, and coach Jeff Jackson said that’s an asset on nights like this.

“We kept our composure, we didn’t get down, we didn’t get too high or too low,” Jackson said. “The kids were good in the huddle, and we made plays when we needed to. We got stops and rebounds when we needed to, and we made our free throws down the stretch.”

Alcorn scored a season-high 30 points to lead Lincoln (18-5, 5-0 district), which clinched a tie for first place in the regular-season district race that will determine seeding for the district tournament.

Only Boyle County, which hosts Lincoln on Friday, can tie Lincoln for the top spot, and only if Boyle wins its three remaining district games.

Alcorn hadn’t led Lincoln in scoring in its previous eight games, but he rose to the occasion late in this game, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He scored nine of the Patriots’ 11 points in the second overtime, going 7 for 8 at the free-throw line to seal the win.

“He took over and drove to the basket and made some things happen, and he hit his free throws,” Jackson said.

Alcorn’s biggest play, however, might have been an assist on the basket that sent the game to overtime.

He collected an offensive rebound off a missed 3-point attempt and shoveled the ball back to the perimeter, where Blade Nuckols buried the basket that tied the game with 16 seconds to play.

“It was a big shot. He hits shots like that all the time,” Alcorn said.

DCA coach Don Story said it was also an opportunity lost for his team, which had scored nine straight points in less than two minutes to turn a 46-40 deficit into a 49-46 lead.

“We missed a good opportunity there in regulation. All we’ve got to do is come up with a rebound,” Story said.

The two teams played to a 5-all draw in the first overtime, with neither team scoring in the final 1:48.

Colton Ralston opened the scoring in the second overtime with a jumper that gave Lincoln a 56-54 lead. Two free throws by Alcorn following a drive to the basket stretched the Patriots’ lead to four, and they were never headed as DCA went 0 for 5 from the field with three turnovers.

Titus Boyd scored 18 points to lead DCA (12-10, 2-3), including seven of the nine points during the Warriors’ fourth-quarter rally.

It was the second time in eight days DCA lost a lead to Lincoln. The Warriors led by 12 points before the Patriots rallied for a 59-52 win a week earlier in Danville.

“You’ve got to beat them. They’re not going to give it to you,” Story said.

DCA is 0-6 all-time against Lincoln, but Story said going toe to toe with the Patriots could give the Warriors confidence if they meet again in the postseason.

“We’ve been digging out of a hole with Lincoln for a while … but we’re getting closer and hopefully we’ll be able to pull one out one of these days.”

Ralston had 13 points and nine rebounds and Jackson Sims had 12 points and eight rebounds for Lincoln.

It was a complete team win,” Jackson said. “I was really proud of our kids tonight. We knew it would be this kind of game, and … I thought they stepped up and responded against a really, really good team.”

Lual Ayiei and Emmanuel Dut scored 14 points each for DCA, which visits Danville on Friday, and Dut had 14 rebounds.


DCA 46, LCHS 29

DCA posted one of its lowest point totals of the season, but it still had enough offense to keep Lincoln at bay for its fifth win in six games.

The Lady Warriors were only two points off their season low thanks in part to their 19 turnovers. But they held the Lady Patriots, who had 20 turnovers, to their third-lowest score of the season.

Grace Mbugua led DCA (14-4, 4-1) with 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Alexia Baldock added 10 points.

The Lady Warriors were never threatened after scoring the first 10 points of the game in a run that included 3-pointers by Braxtyn Heck and Paisley Metz.

Macey Rice had nine points, Mercedes Hensley had six points and Emily Estes and MaKayla Greer had seven rebounds each for Lincoln (10-12, 2-4).