Lincolnton has a stiff challenge awaiting them Monday night as they travel to East Davidson to take on the Golden Eagles (19-8) .
The Golden Eagles finished third in the Central Carolina Conference in the regular season. The bad news for the Wolves is they swept through the competition winning the Central Carolina Tournament beating North Rowan.
Wolvesâ€™ head coach Bob Cowie has scouted East Davidson twice in person. Heâ€™s been impressed with their fundamental play and intensity.
â€œTheyâ€™re a very well-coached, extremely disciplined and just a very fundamentally sound basketball team. They play extremely hard,â€ Cowie said.
The Golden Eagles are led by 6â€™0â€ two-guard Justin Strickland. Despite his height, Cowie believes he is a more than capable scorer.
â€œHe appears to be a very good shooter, extremely strong with the ball and will take it very hard to the basket,â€ he said.
Stricklandâ€™s sidekick is 6â€™4â€ Cody Furr, whose versatility makes him a tough match-up.
â€œHe can shoot the ball from the perimeter and he also likes to shot fake and get it to the basket,â€ Cowie said.
In the conference tournament final, Cowie said the Golden Eagles attempted one of two shots the whole game: three-pointers or lay-ups.
Although, the Wolves lost 69-62 against the Bandys Trojans in the first round of the Midwest 2A Conference Tournament, Cowie believes his team has a legitimate shot at getting past their first round competition.
â€œI think weâ€™re going to be ready to play awfully well. I think weâ€™ll come ready to play. Weâ€™re certainly going to have to match their intensity because I think they play harder than any team Iâ€™ve seen this year,â€ he said.
Lincolnton was void of practice two days last week, in an attempt to rest their legs for the Golden Eagles.
â€œWeâ€™ve had some good practices. I think weâ€™re going to be ready to play tomorrow night. Is that going to be enough? Whoâ€™s to say,â€ Cowie said.
For the Wolves to win the game, Cowie believes three points will be key.
â€œIf we can slow it down and defend some of their back cuts and their penetration and defend the perimeter I think weâ€™ll have a great chance,â€ he said.
Cowie likens East Davidsonâ€™s attack to Princetonâ€™s offense, which features an open-post with all five men on the perimeter. In such an offense, back-door cuts can be leathal.
â€œWeâ€™re going to have to have a great defensive effort. If you fall asleep against your man for just a second, heâ€™s probably going to be laying the ball in the basket.â€
Juniors Zack Gibson and Lance Friday made the Midwest 2A All-Conference Team. Jessie Cline, for the Lady Wolves, also was a selection.
Take 85-North to Exit 102 Lake Road. Take a left off the exit and school will be right there.
by John Mark Brooks