The Lincolnton Wolves lost their season opener at North Gaston 73-60 Wednesday night.
The Wolves were rusty in their debut and not in peak basketball shape, due to the football team advancing to the second round of the 2A Playoffs.
An encouraging sign for the Wolves was only trailing 33-27 to a solid North Gaston basketball team. The Wildcatsâ€™ only loss on the season came to an excellent Gaston Day team.
As with any season-opener, Lincolnton head coach Bob Cowie felt the Wolves did some good things, but also saw weaknesses.
â€œWe actually played pretty well early. Their size and our fatigue kind of set in on us a little bit, and they got away from us. But overall, we showed signs of being a good team,â€ he said.
With only six days of practice before the game; conditioning definitely was a factor.
â€œWeâ€™re certainly not prepared as we need to be and our conditioning is not where it needs to be and all of those things played a part,â€ Cowie said.
Zack Gibson led the Wolves with 22 points, but struggled with his shot inside the three-point arc. From long distance, he was 4-for-7. Dusty Friday, another senior, scored nine points. Jemel Jefferies chipped in with seven.
Lincolnton will host county rival East Lincoln Friday. Cowie believes it will be a tough game.
â€œTheyâ€™re much improved. Their guard play (with Darin Dellinger and Jamelle Lowery) is pretty good and it will be a battle as it usually is. It will be a test for us,â€ he said.
Another plus in their first game was Cowie was able to get a good look at his playersâ€™ strengths.
â€œWe played a lot of people and found some things out about some. We showed signs of being a good team, but we have a long way to go.â€
Lincolnton 11 16 12 21 -60
North Gaston 12 21 25 15 -73
LINCOLNTON: Zack Gibson 22, Edwin Barber 1, Demory Williams 1, Dusty Friday 9, Derek Butler 1, Lance Friday 4, Jeremy Smith 6, Kyle Snyder 1, Matt Wright 2, Jemel Jefferies 7, PJ Hamright 2.
NORTH GASTON: Duncan 12, Brooks 9, Young 2, Shives 11, White 18, Tyson 13, Johnson 8.
by John Mark Brooks