PUMPKIN CENTER — The North Lincoln Lady Knights varsity girls basketball team blistered the Highland Tech Lady Rams for 25 first-quarter points on their way to a 59-22 win in both teams’ Southern Piedmont Conference opener on Tuesday.
But as impressive as the Lady Knights (6-3, 1-0 SPC) were on offense, it was their defense that stifled the Lady Rams throughout the game.
North Lincoln combined for 15 steals, eight by junior Antaijah Easter, many of which were converted into points. The Lady Knights held Highland Tech to six first-half points, while amassing a 33-6 lead at the halftime break.
When Easter wasn’t snatching the ball out of the hands of her Highland Tech opponents she was putting points on the board or snagging rebounds. She led the team with 19 points, on 7-19 shooting, and led the team with six rebounds. Sophomore center Payton Bruce contributed 13 points, many from the baseline, on 6-11 shooting with five rebounds. Freshman guard Sidney Russell followed not far behind with 12 points on 4-9 shooting.
The Lady Knights jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first minute of the game, and had extended their lead to 9-0 before the Lady Rams first got on the scoreboard. Highland Tech scored its final point of the first quarter on a free throw with 4:43 left to play. That touched off a 14-0 run by the Lady Knights to close out the first period.
North Lincoln was just as relentless defensively in the second quarter, allowing three points to the Lady Rams, but added only eight points of its own.
The Lady Rams outscored North Lincoln 10-6 in the third quarter, but were still unable to put a dent in the Lady Knights’ substantial lead.
North Lincoln scored 20 points in the fourth quarter.