Too much Lance Friday. That proved to be the difference Friday night as the Lincolnton Wolves got a much needed 55-42 Midwest 2A road victory at county rival West Lincoln.
The Rebels had no answer for the bulky Friday, who asserted himself early on in the contest. Friday scored eight of his game-high 21 points in the first quarter, hitting on four of five field goal attempts, all in the paint.
Lincolnton outscored West 19-11 in that first period, making nine of 15 from the field. However, the Wolves shooting would turn cold in quarter number two. While the Rebels were getting back into the game on key three-pointers by Taylor Woodie, Daniel Payseur and Gene Arp, the Wolves only connected on two of their 13 field goal attempts in the period.
By halftime, West Lincoln had trimmed the margin to three at 27-24.
As the teams switched baskets to start the second half, the poor shooting changed sides as well. The Rebels only made two field goals in the third quarter as they were outscored 12 to six, extending the Lincolnton lead to 39-30.
West Lincoln would score the first five points of the final period to close the gap to four, but the Wolves went on a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to open the lead to 14, at 51-37. Junior guard Zack Gibson would connect on all six of his free throw attempts in the final stanza to ice the game away.
Gibson finished the game with 19 points for the Wolves, connecting on nine of his 11 attempts from the charity stripe. Friday`s 21 points came on good shot selection, as the junior connected on seven of his nine attempts from the floor in the game.
West Lincoln was led by sophomore Taylor Woodie. Woodie`s 17 points paced the Rebel scoring, while the teams leading scorer Ryan Huffman was held to 11.
Lincolnton head coach Bob Cowie was not necessarily pleased with his team`s performance, but was glad to come away with a win on county rival West Lincoln`s home court.
“I told my assistant coaches at the end of the game that we didn`t play real well, but it`s good to come in here and get a win. It`s always been in my experience that it`s very tough to come in here and win”, Cowie said.
Cowie was especially pleased with the defensive effort of senior Kyle Snyder. Snyder`s task was to try and slow down the Rebels leading scorer Ryan Huffman.
“I thought Kyle had as good a defensive effort as anyone that has ever played for me tonight”, Cowie noted.
With the victory the Wolves improve to 6-4 in the Midwest 2A, and 8-11 overall. The Wolves will be at home Tuesday night to take on Shelby. The Rebels fall to 1-9 in conference play and 3-17 overall. West Lincoln will host Bandys Tuesday.
Lincolnton 19 8 12 16-55
West Lincoln 11 13 6 12-42
WOLVES: Lance Friday 21, Zack Gibson 19, Kyle Snyder 8, Demory Williams 7.
REBELS: Taylor Woodie 17, Ryan Huffman 11, Ben Poole 6, Daniel Paysour 5, Gene Arp 3.
Friday night`s game between the Lady Rebels and the Lady Wolves was a game of runs, and it was Lincolnton that had the final run and the largest as they came away with a 64-40 win at West Lincoln.
After a very low scoring first quarter that ended with the Lady Wolves up 8-4, Lincolnton scored 17 of the games next 25 points to pull out to a 25-12 lead.
The Lady Rebels, however, would go on a run of their own to close out the first half. Led by forward Tamika Werts 11 second quarter points, West Lincoln scored the final 13 points of the half to go into the locker room at the break tied at 25.
Lincolnton head coach Franklin Lowery, who was not very thrilled with the way the first half had ended, barely got his troops back out onto the court in time to start the third quarter. The Lady Wolves had to sprint back to the bench and onto the floor to avoid getting a technical foul to open quarter number three.
But whatever Coach Lowery had to say to his team in the prolonged halftime speech, they must have taken heed. With the Lady Rebels trailing 32-31 midway through the third period, Lincolnton scored the games next 16 points to end all doubt as to who would win this county match up.
With clutch free throw shooting down the stretch, especially from sophomore guard Jessie Cline, the Lady Wolves were able to hold off any West Lincoln attempt to make a run to get back into the game. Cline made good on 10-of-12 attempts from the line, including six of six in the final period.
Cline led the Lady Wolves with 24 points on the night, while Brittany Jones chipped in 12. West Lincoln was led by Werts` 22 points, including four three-pointers.
The victory is the first conference win of the season for the Lady Wolves, as they move to 1-9 in Midwest 2A play and 7-12 overall. With the loss, the Lady Rebels fall to 1-9 in conference play and 3-17 overall.
Lincolnton 8 17 16 23-64
West Lincoln 4 21 6 9-40
WOLVES: Jessie Cline 24, Brittany Jones 12, Andrea Isoler 8, Ashley Tipton 8, Keisha Duncan 6, Shonda Faw 4, Hannah Parker 2.
REBELS: Tamika Werts, Helen Debari 7, Jessica Grigg 3, Katie Davis 2, April Norman 2, Valerie Fite 2, Katie Thornburg 2.
by David Keever