North Lincoln rode the 3-point marksmanship of Trishtan Johnson, Alex Loftin and Kyle Baker to an 88-83 victory over visiting Lincolnton Thursday night.
That trio combined to hit 12 shots from behind the arc as the Knights scored a whopping 33 points in the fourth quarter to hold off a late Lincolnton charge.
Tristhan Johnson led the way with 24 points, followed by Loftin with 20 and Baker with 14. Loftin got 12 of his 20 in the fourth quarter and made two momentum shots in the final minute of play to secure the win.
Loftin hit a 3-pointer from the deep corner with 50 seconds left to break a 79-79 tie, then followed with a layup 20 seconds later off a pass from Lesharion Johnson at the free throw line.
Lincolnton self-destructed after that, committing a turnover with 20 seconds left and trailing by three, 81-78. Tristhan Johnson was fouled on the next possession, and he hit two free throws to extend the lead to five.
The Wolves (5-9, 3-2) could get no closer than three in the final seconds.
North Lincoln outscored Lincolnton 36-6 from 3-point range, and the Wolvesâ€™ second trey came on a meaningless buzzer basket by Zack Gibson.
Lance Friday topped Lincolntonâ€™s scoring with 23 points, including 6-for-6 in the third quarter, all on drives to the basket or fast-break layups over the North Lincoln press.
Gibson followed with 22 points, and Dustin Metts scored 16.
Lincolnton fought back from a nine-point halftime deficit (36-27) to forge a 76-76 tie with a minute left on Demory Williamsâ€™ layup off the break. But Loftin answered with his timely 3-pointer to give North Lincoln the lead for good.
The teams combined for 64 points in a torrid fourth quarter that saw only lip service paid to defense.
The Knights used a 9-0 run late in the second quarter to build their nine-point halftime advantage. Tristhan Johnson scored 13 points in the first half on 4-for-5 shooting.
Linc 17 10 25 31â€”83
NL 18 18 19 33â€”88
Lincolntonâ€”Zack Gibson 22, Williams 4, D. Friday 6, Lance Friday 23, Dustin Metts 16, Wright 7, Snyder 3, Jefferies 2. North Lincolnâ€”Lesharion Johnson 10, Kyle Baker 14, Tristhan Johnsonn 24, Alex Loftin 20, Ketner 2, Ward 4, Bethea 6, Brady 8.
Lincolnton 48, North Lincoln 40â€”Brittney Jones scored 13 points and Jessie Cline added 12 as the Lady Wolves (6-8, 0-5) snapped a four-game skid. Kayla Alexanderâ€™s 10 points led North Lincoln.
Lincolntonâ€”Brittney Jones 13, Isoler 5, Jessie Cline 12, Faw 6, Duncan 2, Parker 6, Tipton 2. North Lincolnâ€”Lowe 8, Thorne 2, Farris 9, Kayla Alexander 10, Smith 5, McCall 6.
Lincolntonâ€™s Shonda Faw takes the ball down the court in the Lady Wolvesâ€™ 48-40 victory over North Lincoln. Joseph Brymer / LTN Photo
by Mike Powell