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Lincolnton girls beat Cherryville

KEN BRADLEY
Special to LTN

LINCOLNTON — By the time Cherryville figured out how to contain Lincolnton’s Chelsea Slentz on Monday night, it was too late.
The Lady Wolves’ senior sharpshooter scored 17 points, but just three in the second half when the Lady Ironmen deployed a box-and-one defense against her. Regardless, it was too late as Slentz’s first-half barrage helped Lincolnton build a 10-point halftime lead and Treasure Avery made sure it stayed that way in the second half as the Lady Wolves pulled away for a 58-41 victory.
With the win, Lincolnton advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference tournament. The Lady Wolves (15-7, 11-4 SPC) will play Lake Norman Charter today at North Lincoln.
“I was glad that Chelsea showed up in the first half because a lot of us didn’t,” Lincolnton coach Jimmy Carr said. “They also did a good job of getting her the ball. We always talk about if we find a hot hand, keep feeding them the ball and they’re going to keep knocking down shots.”
Slentz hit 4 of 9 three-pointers in the first half. She took just one shot—she buried another three-pointer—in the second half. That’s when Avery stepped in and led the Lady Wolves to 34 second-half points.
Avery scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half mostly on an array of drives to the basket. She connected on 8 of 9 free throws as well.
“We started off a little slow, but I saw that Chelsea was hot so I kept trying to get her the ball,” Avery said. “Once I saw them playing two people on Chelsea, I started taking it to the hole.”
Cherryville’s Lauren Graham scored the final four points of the third quarter to pull Cherryville (14-11, 6-9 SPC) to within 37-30. But Lincolnton opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to put the game out of reach. Sydney Devine hit the second of her two three-pointers and Avery scored on back-to-back drives to the basket to make it 44-30.
Graham led Cherryville with 19 points before fouling out with 1:11 remaining.
Devine scored six points in support of Slentz and Avery, while Bridget Derr also added six.
Carr expects a tough one tonight against Lake Norman Charter. The two teams split during the regular season.
“We’ll go to North and know that it’s going to be us against the world. There probably aren’t too many people down there pulling for Lincolnton,” he said. “That’s our mentality right now. We just want to go and think that it’s us against everyone else and we want to go in there with a chip on our shoulder and hopefully knock off Lake Norman.”

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