VALE — The West Lincoln Rebels varsity basketball team launched the 2012-2013 basketball season with a 59-50 nonconference win over the Draughn Wildcats.
Senior West Lincoln forward Danny Miller staked the Rebels to a 6-2 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter and was a constant threat near the baseline, finishing with 13 points, leading the team.
The Rebels never trailed in the game, but survived several Draughn scoring surges including one just before halftime when the Wildcats closed the gap to a 29-28 West Lincoln advantage.
West Lincoln saw offensive production from a variety of players — junior Luke Webb and senior Brett Huff each added nine points, and Huff was 6-7 from the free throw line. Junior Samuel Redding and senior Houston Gilmore both scored seven points. Junior Zach Carpenter and freshman Dylan Frady rounded out the Rebels’ top scorers with six points each.
Miller had four rebounds, and both Webb and Gilmore added five assists.
After the Rebels’ 6-2 run to open the game the Wildcats scored a 3-pointer to close West Lincoln’s lead to 7-5 with three minutes left in the first quarter. A subsequent jump shot by Gilmore and a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Huff gave the Rebels a 12-5 cushion.
The Wildcats narrowed West Lincoln’s 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter with a 4-0 run to open the second frame. Huff made three free throws in a row to put the Rebels back on top 17-13 five minutes before halftime, but a 5-0 run by Draughn less than a minute later brought the score to 21-20.
Gilmore nailed a 3-pointer with eight seconds left before halftime to put the Rebels ahead 32-28 at the break.
The Wildcats posted 10 points in the third quarter but Miller and sophomore Daniel Schesny hit back-to-back field goals to give the Rebels a 45-38 lead headed into the final eight minutes of the game.
The Rebels outscored Draughn 14-12 in the fourth quarter to secure the win. West Lincoln took a 5-0 run three minutes into the quarter for a 52-40 lead, then padded their lead with a 3-0 run in the final minute. Huff connected on one of two free throw attempts after a technical foul on a Draughn player for the final score.
The Rebels resume play on November 30 at home against the Patton Panthers.