On the strength of shooting over 50 percent on three-point accuracy, the West Lincoln Rebels held a 18-14 lead at the end of the first quarter Tuesday night. It was the last time they would hold an advantage, as the East Lincoln Mustangs roared back to a 58-41 victory.
Josh Fisher, Gene Arp, Ryan Huffman and Brandon Friday all connected from downtown in the first period. But a 14-1 run by the Mustangs in the second quarter gave them control of their season opener.
Senior point guard Darin Dellinger, who led East Lincoln on the defensive end, spearheaded the run. He had a couple of steals in the quarter to go along with several assists. Carlos Marquez, a 6â€™4â€ 225 pound power forward provided the scoring on the interior.
Dellinger started the run with with a jumper with 6:24 left in the second period to put his team down four, 20-16. A Marquez rebound and put back completed a 10-0 spurt to put the Mustangs up 24-20 with 4:13 remaining.
Dellinger believed the run was a result of his team tightening up screws on defense.
â€œJosh (Davis) told me to pick up my defensive intensity and ball pressure and I picked it up,â€ he said.
Marquez used solid rebounding effort and tough play to come away with six points during the run. The Rebels, on the other hand, connected on only one field goal in the entire second quarter, which oddly enough took place on their first possession.
Contributing to the run was West Lincolnâ€™s inability to knock down open shots and poor ball handling.
Huffman did his best to will his team back in the game in the third with seven points, but East kept on rolling. Junior guard Jamelle Lowery knocked down six points demonstrating determination to get to the basket to answer.
East Lincoln severely out-rebounded the home team with Marquez and Josh Davis serving as the catalysts.
The Mustangs were paced by Dellinger with 14 points, Lowery contributed scoring 12 and Marquez added a solid 11 points. Davis had eight. Huffman led the Rebels with 11 points, while Fisher scored 10.
Head coach Neil Hodges was pleased by the win.
â€œWeâ€™re pleased weâ€™re 1-0, but itâ€™s a long year. Our league (Big South 3A) is such a tough league and fundamentally we have to get better,â€ he said.
â€œIt was our first game and a lot of times on defense we made errors whether it was no help-defense or recovering or boxing out, but weâ€™ll get better,â€ Hodges said.
One area Hodges had to be pleased with was East Lincolnâ€™s ball movement. Dellinger got his teammates involved throughout the game.
â€œMy boys just finish. Jamelle and them finish everything around the basket,â€ he said.
East improves to 1-0 on the season, while West Lincoln falls to 1-2 as they enter Thanksgiving break.
A bright side for West Lincoln was spectator in Tuesdayâ€™s game. Matt Edwards one of the Rebelsâ€™ leaders last season is seeing quality minutes at CVCC.
The team is now 4-0 on the season after winning a four-team tournament at Warren Wilson College. Edwards has started in two of the games.
East Lincoln 58- Darin Dellinger 14, Thomas Huntley 4, Devin Carter 5, Jamelle Lowery 12, Alex Newsome 2, Carlos Marquez 11, Josh Davis 8.
West Lincoln 41- Ben Poole 2, Taylor Woodie 5, Josh Fisher 10, Gene Arp 3, Ryan Huffman 11, Brandon Friday 5, Daniel Paysour 6, Matt Baxter 1.
Womenâ€™s varsity game
Koree Roseboro with the game tied at 51 to put the Mustangs up 53-51.
The Lady Rebels had several chance to tie the game, but was unable to knock down good looks.
Krista Moore put the nail in the coffin with a lay up to make it a two-possession game.
The Rebels are still in search of their first win and are now 0-3.
East Lincoln got former East Lincoln standout Deidra Gibson her first win of her head coaching career.
Alyson Kielar paced the Mustangs with 16 points, while Moore contributed with 14. Toree Roseboro and Kim Scercy both chipped in with eight.
Sara Elmore led West Lincoln with 13 points, while guard Candi Taylor had 10. Tamika Werts had seven. Valerie Fite and Helen Debari scored six apiece.
East Lincoln 55- Sonny Marthers 2, Koree Roseboro 3, Toree Roseboro 8, Kim Scercy 8, Krista Moore 14, Shemele Smith 2, Miranda Lamberth 2, Alyson Kielar 16.
West Lincoln 51- Candi Taylor 10, Anna Knight 1, Tamika Werts 7, Sara Elmore 13, Katie Davis 2, Katie Thornburg 4, Valerie Fite 6, Helen Debari 6, April Norman 2.
Alyson Kielar, a transfer from New York, led the Lady Mustangs with 16 points Tuesday night. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
by John Mark Brooks