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Mustangs sweep rival on Senior Night

The Mustangs closed out the regular season in grand fashion Friday night with a 65-41 victory over rival North Lincoln.
Keith Rendleman scored a game high 20 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and had six blocked shots on senior night at East Lincoln.
The Mustangs got off to their usual fast start to open the game. Austin Davis and Kendall Bethea buried two 3-pointers each in the game’s opening moments. And when Rendleman caught an alley-oop pass from Davis and reverse-dunked the basketball all in one motion, East Lincoln had built a 14-0 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.
The Mustangs built a 24-6 advantage by the end of the first period, and after a 10-0 run midway through the second, East Lincoln headed to the locker room with a 41-14 lead.
North Lincoln, playing against many of the Mustang’s reserves, outplayed East Lincoln in the third period. The Knights outscored the Mustangs 17-10 in the period, including a 12-0 run that cut the lead to 51-31 heading to the fourth.
East Lincoln never let North get much closer, closing out the game with a 24-point margin of victory over the rival school.
Kendall Bethea finished the night with 13 points for the Mustangs, while Spencer Sydney, Drew Spear and Davis had nine points each. The Knights got a career- high 17 from Garrett McCrary. Jimmy Stone added 10.
The Mustangs, winners of 16 straight, conclude a stellar regular season. The Southern Piedmont 1A/2A champions finish 20-4 overall, and 15-1 in conference play.
By winning the regular season title, the conference tournament finals will be played at East Lincoln this Friday night. The Mustangs will open their postseason at 8 p.m. tonight at home, with a first-round game against No.9 seed Draughn who defeated West Lincoln 53-52 on Saturday.
North Lincoln finishes the regular season with a 3-13 conference record and 5-19 overall. The Knights, the No. 7 seed, open the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A tournament on the road tonight at No. 2 Cherryville. Game time is 7 p.m.

North Lincoln 6 8 17 10 -41
East Lincoln 24 17 10 14 -65
NORTH LINCOLN: Garrett McCrary 17, Jimmy Stone 10, Joe Martinez 3, Aaron Cline 3, Gray Brotherton 3, Zach Miller 3, Haynes Brotherton 2.

EAST LINCOLN: Keith Rendleman 20, Kendall Bethea 13, Austin Davis 9, Drew Spear 9, Spencer Sydney 9, Elliott Creed 3, Brandon Decaro 2.

Varsity Girls
Lady Mustangs 58,
Lady Knights 53
Kiandra Long surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her career Friday night with a 22-point performance en route to a 58-53 key conference victory over the rival Lady Knights of North Lincoln.
The win lifted the Lady Mustangs into a second place tie with the Lady Knights in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A, and the No. 3 seed heading into this week’s conference tournament by virtue of a tiebreaker.
East Lincoln need all of Long’s 22 points and more, as star post player Lindsy Wright played much of the game in foul trouble.
North Lincoln, behind the scoring of Stephanie Wooten, took a 24-23 lead into the locker room at the half, before the Lady Mustangs took control in the third period.
A 9-0 run midway through the quarter took East Lincoln from three points down, to a 36-30 lead. It was a lead that the Lady Mustangs would never lose.
East Lincoln held off a late Lady Knight’s rally, and avenged a loss to their rival earlier in the season.
“We played horrible the first time we played them,” said Long, the Lady Mustang’s junior guard. “To win on our own floor feels good.”
When asked about reaching the 1,000 point plateau, Long responded, “It means a lot to do it in three years. I wasn’t really thinking about it, though.”
Long becomes the second East Lincoln player this season to reach the 1,000-point mark and the fifth girls’ player in Lincoln County this season.
Wooten finished with 18 points to lead the Lady Knights, while Sydney Wilkinson chipped in 10.
The Lady Mustangs (16-8, 12-4) open the conference tournament tonight at home against Lincolnton. Game time is 6:30 p.m.
North Lincoln (15-9, 12-4) will also open the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A tournament with a home game, as they play host to No. 7 seed Highland Tech tonight at 7 p.m.

North Lincoln 7 17 11 18 -53
East Lincoln 14 9 17 18 -58
NORTH LINCOLN: Stephanie Wooten 18, Sydney Wilkinson 10, Lizzy Balzer 8, Ashley Thackeray 6, Lainey Livernois 5, Brittany Driscoll 4, Jill Baxter 2.
EAST LINCOLN: Kiandra Long 22, Kristen Wakefield 9, Lindsy Wright 9, Sydney Messemer 8, Kyndal Davis 6, Becky Mordas 4.

by David Keever

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