Special to LTN
VALE — For three quarters Tuesday night, West Lincoln was its own worst enemy.
Every time the Lady Rebels varsity basketball team started to pull away from Chase, careless turnovers and poor shooting took over and the Lady Trojans were able to stay within striking range.
But it all came together for coach Holly Specht’s squad when it mattered most — the fourth quarter.
West Lincoln found its shooting touch and turned up the defensive pressure to pull away for its first win of the season, 51-35.
“I think the key to pulling away was that we finally settled down a little bit offensively, got the ball past half court and tried to run our offense,” said Specht, whose squad improved to 1-2. “We also had more ball pressure, which was what we were after, and it caused some turnovers. They got some confidence and got a little tougher in the second half.”
West Lincoln led by eight points early, but found itself trailing 15-12 midway through the second quarter. The Rebels finished the half on an 8-0 run, capped off with Amanda Ritch’s putback off a missed shot with 10 seconds remaining to make it 20-15 at the break.
Chase didn’t go away. Kendra Holcombe, who scored a game-high 17 points, scored eight consecutive points in a two-minute span to put the Lady Trojans on top, 23-22, with 3:22 left in the third quarter. Again, West Lincoln responded, closing the quarter on a 7-1 run.
Holcombe hit her third three-pointer early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 30-27 and that’s when the Lady Rebels decided enough was enough. Seniors Brittany Ormand and Rylee Marsh scored six points apiece as West Lincoln went on a 16-5 run to put the game away.
In the decisive fourth quarter, West Lincoln hit 7 of 13 shots from the field and 6 of 8 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Chase struggled through 4 of 20 shooting in the final eight minutes.
“They played better defense,” Specht said.
“They were in the right spots defensively most of the time, which is something we hadn’t had the past two games. We’re still young and have a lot to work on. I’m happy that we won, but we still have a long ways to go and a lot of work to do.”
Ormand and Marsh led West Lincoln with 12 points each and six other Lady Rebels scored.