The East Lincoln Mustangs dismantled the North Lincoln Knights 61-32 Tuesday night.
The rematch was quite different from their Dec. 1 match up when the Mustangs preserved a 73-70 victory.
The Mustangs opened the second half with a 16-2 run in what proved to be the difference in the game. The Knights only mustered four third quarter points and went nearly five full minutes of not scoring. Peyton Brady scored with 4:41 left and Trishtan Johnson scored with 30 seconds remaining in the third.
Devin Carter and Jamelle Lowery both scored five third quarter points.
A Josh Davis lay up pushed the East Lincoln advantage to 47-27 with 5:10 to play in the game.
Neither team dented the scoreboard until the 4:19 mark of the first quarter despite a frantic pace. Alex Newsome scored that basket.
â€œBoth teams were probably a little nervous to get started. Our guys know them, so they were just a little nervous,â€ Mustangsâ€™ head coach Neil Hodges.
Once the Mustangs settled down, Lowery, a junior guard, led them in scoring with a quiet 20 points.
â€œI wanna thank God for giving me the ability and talent to play basketball. For our team to win, I have to step my game up to another level,â€ he said.
Hodges was pleased with Loweryâ€™s recent play.
â€œHeâ€™s a good player and heâ€™s done a good job for us. He comes from a good basketball family and plays a lot. Heâ€™s interested in getting better and he should have a good year for us.â€
So what does Hodges attribute the huge spurt to open the second half?
â€œOur first half performance wasnâ€™t good and I think our kids realized that. They knew they had to play better in the second half,â€ he said.
â€œWe came out and coach told us to play hard and pick up the intensity and deny the ball. We got some steals and finished at the other end,â€ Lowery explained.
Darin Dellinger was also in double figures for East Lincoln with 10. Carlos Marquez-Sykes contributed eight. Davis and Carter both scored seven.
Trey Whiteside, Alex Loftin and Peyton Brady scored five apiece for North Lincoln.
The Mustangs improve to 4-1 with the win. The Knights fall to 1-6.
East Lincoln 0 7 0 3 -10
North Lincoln 15 16 6 0 -37
EAST LINCOLN: Darin Dellinger 10, Devin Carter 7, Jamelle Lowery 20, Carlos Marquez-Sykes 8, Josh Davis 7, Thomas Huntley 1, Jason Smith 2, Alex Newsome 4, Nick Harmon 2.
NORTH LINCOLN: Kyle Baker 3, Alex Loftin 5, Kenny Bethea 2, Tristan Johnson 4, David Ward 2, Lesharion Johnson 6, Trey Whiteside 5, Peyton Brady 5.
The Lady Knights beat the Lady Mustangs 63-48.
A group of East Lincoln fans harassed Alyssa Lowe calling her â€˜chin strapâ€™ due to a bandage on her chin. But it was Loweâ€™s 23 points that had the last laugh.
â€œWe had good team work. We donâ€™t have any individuals on our team, thatâ€™s a strong point. We know how to handle pressure pretty good,â€ she said.
And how big was the win because it was East Lincoln and the heckling?
â€œIt was big, Iâ€™m not from here, but it was big to lead the team to a win. It was big for everybody. We were really excited to have a big win like that twice.â€
Lindsey also scored in double figures with 14, while Kayla Alexander contributed 10.
Smithâ€™s points were the result of Knightsâ€™ head coach Mark Lackeyâ€™s game planning.
â€œOur guards were beating their defenders which forced their defensive post players to help and that opened up Lindsey and some other girls,â€ he said.
Lackey was very pleased with his teamâ€™s balanced scoring.
â€œWhen you can get three girls in double figures, especially in a girlsâ€™ high school basketball game, youâ€™re going to be in the game,â€ he said.
â€œIf youâ€™re going to win the game, you have to win the battle of the rebounds and I think we did that tonight,â€ he added.
The Mustangs fall to 2-3 on the season, while the Knights raise their mark to 3-4.
â€œThere are great relation between the two schools, but itâ€™s just a fun county rivalry game to be a part of since the kids still know each other and hang out,â€ Lackey said.
East Lincoln 10 13 18 7 -48
North Lincoln 13 13 21 16 -63
EAST LINCOLN: Alyson Kielar 19, Sonny Marthers 2, Toree Roseboro 14, Kim Scercy 4, Krista Moore 2, Shemele Smith 4, Miranda Lamberth 3.
NORTH LINCOLN: Alyssa Lowe 23, Brittany Mabe 1, Courtney Feldon 3, Kayla Alexander 10, Jesse Devine 4, Lindsey Smith 14, Sara McCall 8.
Trey Whiteside goes up for a shot as Alex Newsome attempts to block it. Whiteside scored five for the Knights. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
by John Mark Brooks