LINCOLNTON â€” The storied rivalry between the Lincolnton Wolves and the Cherryville Ironmen added another chapter on Tuesday, and the Wolves walked away with an 86-69 win over their Southern Piedmont Conference rival and moved to a 5-0Â conference record. Lincolnton has defeated every conference member other than Lake Norman Charter and West Lincoln, both of whom the Wolves face this week.
Lincolnton head coach Bob Cowie said he would rank the majority of Tuesdayâ€™s game high up in the history of the Lincolnton-Cherryville rivalry.
â€œFor the first three quarters it was right up there,â€ he said. â€œI have to give Cherryville a lot of credit. They came here ready to play and they played very well for three quarters, but I think we slowly wore them down in the fourth quarter. They gave us everything we wanted and more.â€
Cherryville had a 42-40 halftime lead, but the Wolves came out with a renewed defense after the break that allowed only 28 points to the Ironmen, while the offense took advantage and put 45 points on the board. Five different Lincolnton players scored in double digits, with senior Jalen Littlejohn leading the pack with 24 points. Jonathan Sherrill added 21 points, Jonathan Gidney posted 11 and led the Wolves in assists, while both Michael Cunningham and Lorenzo Carter added 10 points.
Cowie said he felt there was a lapse in preparation in the Wolves, who have appeared to be all but unstoppable in conference play and have lost only two nonconference games this season, both to the 3A Forestview Jaguars.
â€œI didnâ€™t feel like we were as prepared to play as we should have been, and Iâ€™ll take the blame for that as the coach,â€ he said. â€œIt needs to be a lesson, that we need to be prepared every single night against every single team and tonight we didnâ€™t play our best and we werenâ€™t as prepared to play as we should have been, but we were able to pull it out and at least it will be a lesson for the future.â€