Special to LTN
LINCOLNTON — This year’s team may not be the tallest that coach Bob Cowie has had in 15 seasons as Lincolnton coach and it probably isn’t his best shooting team, either.
But in Friday night’s 69-50 victory against Maiden, the Wolves second over the Blue Devils in the past week, Cowie saw plenty of things his team can build on entering Southern Piedmont Conference action this week.
The Wolves jumped out to a quick start and led by no less than five points from the middle of the second quarter.
All 11 players saw multiple minutes and eight dented the scoring column.
Playing a five-minute stretch in the second half with its top scorer Alonzo Mobley on the bench with four fouls, Lincolnton picked up its defensive intensity and scored 18 points with many coming in transition after steals.
“That’s something we’ll have to do. We’re going to have to be able to score some easy baskets off our defense,” Cowie said. “I just thought overall that there were a lot of good things that we did, but there are still some mistakes that are being made. That’s what we’re really talking about right now, trying to limit as many mistakes as we can.”
Mobley scored eight of his game-high 19 points in the opening half and sophomore Will Saine added seven as the Wolves built a 23-14 halftime advantage despite making just 2 of 11 field-goal attempts in the second quarter.
Saine and Mobley converted three-point plays on consecutive possessions early in the third quarter as the Wolves opened the second half on an 11-1 run to lead 34-15 with 4:38 to play. That’s when Mobley picked up his fourth foul.
Maiden (0-6) cut the lead to 38-27, but D.J. Cunningham scored six points — four after steals — and Matt Wray scored on a nifty move in the post as the Wolves stretched the lead to 46-29 entering the final quarter.
Cunningham finished with 16 points and Saine added 14. Demetris Anderson came off the bench to score seven, all on free throws.
Lincolnton made 11 of 18 free throws in the final quarter and led by as many as 22 points on several occasions. For the game, the Wolves made 25 of 40 from the foul line. They also scored 46 second-half points on 14 of 23 shooting.
“It’s always a good thing we you can play everyone. Everyone got minutes tonight, everyone contributed and that’s always nice,” Cowie said. “Those guys sitting there at the end of the bench, they come to practice and practice just as hard as those other guys. So anytime you can get everyone in and everyone feels like they’ve made a contribution, that’s a positive.”
“The effort that I’m getting out of this group is great and I can’t ask for any more as far as the effort is concerned.”
Lincolnton (2-3) travels to Bessemer City on Tuesday.