A week after losing 77-62 to Polk Co., the North Lincoln Knights avenged that loss with a convincing 67-42 victory over the Wolverines in the first round of the Southern Foothills Conference Tournament.
The win was huge when it comes to the â€˜câ€™ word due to the fact the Knights had lost four-of-five entering Tuesdayâ€™s contest.
North held Polk Co. to only four second quarter points to gain a decisive advantage. Knightsâ€™ head coach David Johnson stressed defense entering the game.
â€œWe discussed defense last practice. We decided to pick up the tempo and play our kind of ball, which led to turnovers and easy baskets. We knew we had to step up and play,â€ he said.
The Wolverinesâ€™ low-point total gave the Knights a 37-20 halftime lead, one they would not relinquish at any point in the second half.
Two-guard Trishtan Johnson snapped out of a scoring slump and was the game-high scorer with 22. Kenny Bethea had 19.
â€œThose have been our horses most of the year. Whey play well, we do well. David (Ward) and Justin (Thompson) both played good defense. I was really proud of David, he payed with his heart today,â€ Johnson said.
Jarvis Garrett paced the Wolverines with 12 points.
â€œIt (the win) was a huge confidence builder. We have worked hard at practice and the boys showed it today,â€ Johnson said, of the victory over Polk.
The victory pits the Knights against the Cherryville Ironmen Wednesday night at Cherryville at 7 p.m. in the second round of the SF 1A Conference Tournament.
While being competitive in their first match-up, one that saw them lose by just three points, the Ironmen have bettered North Lincoln twice on the season.
â€œTheyâ€™re a tough team with lots of good players. Weâ€™re going to have to play our A-game if weâ€™re going to keep it close,â€ Johnson said.
Polk Co. 16 4 10 12-42
North Lincoln 15 22 17 13-67
WOLVERINES: Jarvis Garrett 12, J. Covil 5, J. Lynch 3, G. Defisher 1, D. McIntyre 7, J. Twitty 3, D. Overholt 8, J. Hampton 1, D. Brisco 2.
KNIGHTS: Trishtan Johnson 22, Kenny Bethea 19, M. Smith 6, J. Thompson 6, L. Johnson 4, A. Loftin 3, D. Ward 3, R. Ketner 1, P. Brady 2, A. Dummer 1.
The fifth-seed Maiden Lady Blue Devils upset the Lady Knights 55-46 Tuesday in the first round.
The Blue Devils held a 33-19 halftime lead and did not relinquish it the remainder of the game.
Freshman guard Kayla Alexander paced the Knights with 15, while Lindsey Smith added 10.
Leslie Herman paced the Blue Devils with 14, while Lindsay Canipe had 12. Camia McCorkle scored 10.
Alyssa Lowe was held to two points, well 14 points below her season average.
Maiden 10 23 15 7-55
North Lincoln 9 10 14 13-46
BLUE DEVILS: Leslie Herman 14, Lindsay Canipe 12, Camia McCorkle 10, England 9, Ramseur 8, McCall 2.
KNIGHTS: Kayla Alexander 15, Lindsey Smith 10, Morgan 8, Devine 6, Farris 4, Lowe 2, McCall 1.
by John Mark Brooks