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Lake Norman Charter girls edge Lincolnton

Lincolnton junior Treasure Avery drives up the court against Lake Norman Charter on Friday.

Lady Wolves downed 56-52 after second-half rally by Knights

MICHAEL GEBELEIN
Sports Writer

LINCOLNTON — The Lincolnton Lady Wolves had a 35-22 lead over the Lake Norman Charter Lady Knights after the first half of play on Friday.
Unfortunately for the Lady Wolves (9-6, 5-3 SPC), that lead was not sustainable through the final 16 minutes of play, as Lincolnton dropped the Southern Piedmont Conference contest 56-52.
“They killed us on the boards in the second half,” Lincolnton head coach Jimmy Carr said. “When we played good defense they shot it and we missed box-outs, and they’d put it back in.”
The Lady Wolves were without junior Bridget Derr in Friday’s game, who Carr described as a “difference maker” for his team. Derr averaged 11 rebounds per game before Friday’s contest to lead the Lady Wolves.
Senior guard Chelsea Slentz led the Lady Wolves in scoring with 15 points, followed by junior Treasure Avery’s 13 points. Ezinne Mbamalu led the Lady Knights with 19 points.
The Lady Wolves started the game strong, amassing a 12-3 lead in the opening minutes of play. As the first quarter came to a close, the Lady Knights closed the gap to 12-8, before a 3-pointer by Slentz with 40 seconds left to play and another 3-pointer by Brie Steward at the buzzer gave the Lady Wolves an 18-8 lead.
Lincolnton’s success from beyond the 3-point line was a welcome change from the Lady Wolves’ shooting performance in their 26-21 loss to West Lincoln on January 13.
“We were 0-38 on 3-pointers against West Lincoln, we missed every one we shot,” Carr said. “I don’t know if it was because it was Friday the 13th or what, but I’ve never been involved with or seen anything like that. I knew it was going to be kind of mental going out there today, because we had talked about that last game. It was a relief when they started falling today, because I didn’t know how we were going to rebound from that last game.”
The Lady Knights scored 34 points in the second half, while allowing on 17 points to the Lady Wolves. Lake Norman Charter went on a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to cut the gap to one point, 37-36.
Avery’s field goal with two minutes left in the third quarter was followed by a layup by Alex Busch for the Lady Knights to hold Lincolnton to a one-point lead. Steward logged another 3-pointer, on an assist from Avery with a minute left in the third to push Lincolnton’s lead to five points, but Mbamalu hit a field goal with 30 seconds left in the quarter to make it a two-point game.
Lake Norman Charter’s Brittany Buckstad drained a 3-pointer 30 seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Lady Knights a 43-42 lead. Avery answered with a field goal at the six-minute mark to push the score back into Lincolnton’s favor, and Sydney Devine added two points on free throws with four minutes left to play to give the Lady Wolves a 46-43 lead.
Seconds later, Buckstad hit another 3-pointer to tie the game at 46-46, and touched off an 11-0 run that effectively sealed a win for the Lady Knights.

Image courtesy of Nayeli Ramirez / LTN

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