The Bandys Trojans defeated the Lincolnton Wolves 73-65 Friday night, trimming the Wolves lead for the fourth and final playoff spot to one game. With the loss, the Wolves fall to 6-6 in the Midwest 2A, while the Trojans improve to 5-7 in conference play with only two games remaining.
Senior Matt Oaks led the Trojans scoring with 29 points, including six three-pointers. Oaks` three-pointers came from almost everywhere on the floor, and seemed to come right when the Wolves started to put a run together to cut into the Bandys lead.
Oaks` outside scoring, coupled with the inside play of Andrew Fearheiley were just too much for the Wolves to overcome. Fearheiley poured in 21 points for Bandys, scoring the majority of those in the paint.
Trailing 61-44 midway through the fourth quarter, Lincolnton tried to make a comeback. The Wolves scored eleven consecutive points to cut the Bandys lead to six, 61-55. The Trojans, however, were able to make some key baskets down the stretch, and the Wolves would not get any closer.
Lincolnton was paced by Lance Friday`s 20 points. Zack Gibson (13), Jamelle Jefferies (11), and Kyle Snyder (10) also scored in double figures for the Wolves.
After the game, Lincolnton head coach Bob Cowie was thoroughly disappointed with his teams effort.
â€œI didn`t think we came out with the intensity that we needed to in the first half and I`m not sure why,” said Cowie.
“We emphasized how important the game was tonight and we didn`t decide we wanted to play `til about midway through the third quarter, and that was too late,” Cowie noted.
“You certainly have to give credit to Bandys. I thought they played very well and shot the ball well,” the coach said.
The Wolves (8-13) will try to hold on to their one game lead for fourth place this week as they close out the regular season with a home game Tuesday night against conference leader East Rutherford, and then head to Bunker Hill on Friday night for the finale.
The Trojans (7-12) will play Newton-Conover and West Lincoln this week to close out their regular season.
The Lady Trojans jumped out to a 20-6 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in a 66-45 defeat of the Lady Wolves at Bandys. Ashley Waters led a balanced scoring attack for Bandys with 19 points, as the Trojans built a 33-16 lead by the half. Allison Brown chipped in 12 points and Savannah Huffman 11 for Bandys.
Brittany Jones and Jessie Cline led the way for the Wolves in a losing effort, scoring eighteen and fifteen points respectively.
With the loss, the Wolves fall to 7-14 overall and 1-11 in the Midwest 2A conference. Bandys improves to 8-11 overall and 6-6 in conference play, and more importantly takes over sole possession of fourth place for the final playoff berth.by David Keever