The East Lincoln Mustangs fell to the East Gaston Warriors 54-42 Friday.
The Mustangs held a 25-23 halftime advantage over the Warriors (14-1, 5-1) leaving head coach Neil Hodges impressed and happy with their first-half play.
â€œI thought we played very well. Theyâ€™re genuinely considered the best team in our league. We did exactly what we wanted to do in the first half. We felt like it was important, to limit them to one shot, make four or five passes before taking shots which we did,â€ he said.
East Lincoln struggled from the field in the second half, despite open looks. Hodges believed it was a combination of the Warriorsâ€™ defense and just poor shooting.
â€œI think they took us out of what we were trying to do in the second half and plus we couldnâ€™t hit a shot. Down the stretch they just executed a little bit better,â€ he said.
Josh Davis led the Mustangs with 12 points, while Carlos-Marquez Sykes complemented him with 11. Jamelle Lowery chipped in with nine.
Eric Hare led East Gaston with 14, while Demetric Sanders had 13.
East Lincoln is now 9-6 and 2-4 in the Big South 3A. Hodges believes this week will be key as they host South Point and Ashbrook.
â€œIf weâ€™re going to make any moves in the conference; we need to make some noise this week. We have two home games against two quality teamsâ€”it would be nice to start making a statement,â€ he said.
East Lincoln 14 11 8 9-42
East Gaston 8 15 19 12-54
MUSTANGS: Josh Davis 12, Carlos Marquez-Sykes 11, Jamelle Lowery 9, Darin Dellinger 8, Alex Newsome 2.
WARRIORS: Eric Hare 14, Demetric Sanders 13, Sean Helms 11, C. Hare 8, Craig 8.
The Lady Mustangs lost 45-31. Kim Scercy and Alyson Kielar scored eight apiece in the losing cause.
Cierra Brooks led all scorers with 14 for the Warriors. East Gaston (9-5, 5-1) is tied for second place with Forestview. The Mustangs remain winless, 0-6, in the Big South 3A. They are 3-12 on the season.
Shelby beat West Lincoln 78-56 Friday night.
A bright spot for the Rebels was Taylor Woodie, who scored 21 points. 15 of his points came in the fourth quarter with the game decided.
Head coach Chad Wright was not pleased with his teamâ€™s effort.
â€œWe could have mailed that one in. The effort was not real good early on.â€
Ed Gullatte and Danny Sanders both scored 17 to lead Shelby.
The Rebels are now 2-14 on the season and 0-6 in the Midwest 2A Conference.
â€œWe just have to get to work and hold our heads up and go out with the intention to be competitive when we walk on the floor,â€ Wright said.
West Lincoln 2 14 13 27-56
Shelby 20 18 21 19-78
REBELS: Ben Poole 2, Heath Cole 4, Taylor Woodie 21, Brandon Friday 3, Daniel Payseur 1, Josh Fisher 2, Gene Arp 6, Ryan Huffman 17.
GOLDEN LIONS: Vincent 4, Moore 3, Ed Gullatte 17, Price 4, Danny Sanders 17, London 6, Griffin 4, Eskridge 2, Montgomery 6, McDowell 9, Webb 4, Stamp 2.
by John Mark Brooks