The North Lincoln Knights held on to win third place in the Peoples Bank Holiday Clash 54-52.
The Rebels had a chance to tie the game and a chance to win it. A three-pointer at the buzzer, made possible by Josh Fisher tying up a Knightsâ€™ player, rimmed out at the buzzer.
â€œIt was so far down our whole bench was headed toward Taylor to celebrate, but then it just popped out,â€ Rebelsâ€™ head coach Chad Wright said.
â€œIt was a really good game. Both teams played really well and it was fitting that it would come down to the last shot,â€ Wright added.
The biggest run of the game came with 1:41 left in the first quarter. The Knights went on an 8-0 run to end the period and get the lead; a lead they would not relinquish.
The run started with a blocked three-pointer and a score in transition. The Knights then forced three straight turnovers with aggressive man-to-man defense and a three-quarter trap.
North Lincoln was up by one, with 19 seconds left in the third quarter, and was able to get three offensive rebounds to extend the lead to three. The aggressive play on the boards helped break the Rebelsâ€™ momentum. Taylor Woodie poured in 10 third quarter points to fuel West Lincoln.
The Knights improve to 3-9 on the season, while the Rebels fall to 2-10.
Kenny Bethea scored 16 points to lead the Knights. Trishtan Johnson chipped in with eight.
Ben Poole led West Lincoln with 12 points, while Woodie and Ryan Huffman scored 10 apiece.
Tuesday West Lincoln will be home versus a Julius Powell-led team in the Newton-Conover Red Devils who are 10-2. Both of their losses were to East Burke by a combined three points.
Poole averaged 11.5 points, three steals and four assists on his way to an all-tourament selection. Bethea averaged 13.5 points for the tournament solidifying his place on the team.
North Lincoln 16 12 14 12 -54
West Lincoln 11 10 18 13 -52
KNIGHTS: Lesharion Johnson 2, Kyle Baker 5, Trishtan Johnson 8, Alex Loftin 5, Reid Ketner 2, David Ward 5, Miquan Smith 2, Bethea 16, Trey Whiteside 3, Peyton Brady 4.
REBELS: Ben Poole 12, Taylor Woodie 10, Daniel Paysour 6, Josh Fisher 7, Gene Arp 2, Matt Baxter 5, Ryan Huffman 10.
The North Lincoln Lady Knights followed up a heartbreaking loss to Lincolnton with a 68-44 thrashing of West Lincoln to win third place in the Holiday Clash.
Alyssa Lowe had a game-high 16 points, while Kayla Alexander scored 14 to lead the Knights.
Sara Elmore scored a season-high 15 for West Lincoln. Tamika Werts chipped in with eight.
West falls to 3-9, while North Lincoln improves to 6-6.
by John Mark Brooks