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Cowie gets 200th win as Wolves top Lake Norman Charter 72-54

Lincolnton’s Patrick Rendleman battles with Lake Norman Charter’s Paul Mobley on Friday.

MICHAEL GEBELEIN
Sports Writer

LINCOLNTON — Lincolnton boys varsity basketball head coach Bob Cowie reached the 200-win milestone as the Wolves downed the Lake Norman Charter Knights 72-54 on Friday.
The Wolves (13-2, 8-0 SPC) nearly re-created Lincolnton’s 71-44 win over the Knights just 10 days earlier.
“We came out with a whole lot of intensity and that was one of our keys,” Cowie said. “We wanted to make them remember 71-44, which was the score last time, and I think my assistant coaches had something to do with that, especially because of what they had planned for after the game.”
Cowie was presented with two basketballs signed by former and current players, and a framed Lincolnton game jersey with the number 200 printed on it.
Cowie, whose head coaching tenure began with the 1998-1999 season, said much of the credit for his success is owed to his players, and the school administrators and members of the Lincolnton community who have supported him.
The Wolves went on a 9-0 run to start the game. Both Jonathan Gidney and Lorenzo Carter drained 3-pointers during the first two minutes of play, followed by a put-back and a free throw by senior Jalen Littlejohn.
Lincolnton took another 8-0 run midway through the first quarter to take its lead to 18-3, and finished the first quarter with a 26-9 advantage.
The Wolves piled more points onto the board in the second quarter, and went into the halftime break with a 36-18 lead.
Three Wolves scored in double digits on Friday, with Jalen Littlejohn leading the pack with 21 points. Jonathan Sherrill added 11 while Michael Cunningham posted 10.
Lake Norman Charter had its most productive quarter in the third with 20 points. The Lincolnton offense still overwhelmed the Knights, and posted 25 points before the final eight minutes of play.
“Our defense was excellent early on, but then we had some lapses,” Cowie said. “I think it’s human nature; when you’re up by 25 points you’re execution isn’t what it was.”
The Knights opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run that took four minutes off of the clock. Cunningham responded with back-to-back field goals, the second coming after a steal. With two minutes left to play and a 71-48 lead, Cowie pulled his starters.
The Wolves head into Tuesday’s game at Bessemer City unbeaten in Southern Piedmont Conference play. Cowie said that rather than pondering which milestone he may reach next as a coach, he was focused on taking this season’s team as far as they can go.
“I’m not really looking past this season,” he said. “We have some very high expectations for the rest of the year. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to win championships, and that’s still what we’re hoping to do.”
With five conference games left in the regular season, a Southern Piedmont Conference championship appears well within reach for the Wolves. They’ve defeated their upcoming opponents—Bessemer City, North Lincoln, Highland Tech, East Lincoln and Cherryville—by a combined score of 363-293 in conference play and have not lost a game since mid-December.

Image courtesy of Nayeli Ramirez / LTN

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