LINCOLNTON — The Lincolnton Wolves boys varsity basketball team’s 67-59 win over the North Lincoln Knights in Southern Piedmont Conference play on Friday was even closer than the final score implies.
Lincolnton led by one point, 59-58, with 1:28 left to play after North Lincoln’s Hunter Caldwell scored on a free throw.
The Wolves (2-5, 1-1 SPC), with a narrow margin, held back their offense and were content to pass the ball, waiting to draw a foul from the Knights. Lincolnton senior Alonzo Mobley found an opening in the lane and put the Wolves ahead 61-58 with a putback with just over a minute left to play.
North Lincoln junior Chase Stehling was fouled with 50 seconds left on the clock made one of his two free throw attempts for North Lincoln’s final point. The Wolves went 6-8 from the free throw line in the final minute to take their first conference win of the 2012-2013 season.
Lincolnton senior Alonzo Mobley scored a game-high 32 points and staked the Wolves’ to a 19-17 first-quarter lead with nine points in the first period. He went 4-4 from the free throw line and scored a field goal in the final 70 seconds of the game.
North Lincoln junior Chase Stehling logged a double-double with a team-high 20 points and 14 rebounds and shot 75 percent from the field. Terrel McClain scored 12 points with seven rebounds, Christian Ramos added 11 points and Hunter Caldwell scored 10 points for North Lincoln (6-4, 0-2 SPC). Ramos led the team with six assists and Landon Yarbrough pulled in 10 rebounds.
The Knights led 13-9 with three minutes left in the first quarter when Mobley banked back-to-back short-range jump shots, broken up by a layup by Stehling, and Lincolnton’s Spencer Derr scored a field goal off a steal for the Wolves to knot the game at 15-15.
Mobley and Derr added a field goal each in the final 50 seconds of the first quarter to give the Wolves a 19-15 lead but Ramos cut Lincolnton’s lead to two points with a field goal as time expired.
North Lincoln matched the Wolves with 12 points in the second quarter. Lincolnton held a 31-29 lead at the halftime break.
Yarbrough tied the game at 31-31 with a one-handed layup for North Lincoln in the opening seconds of the third quarter. Lincolnton’s Will Saine drained a 3-pointer seconds later the give the Wolves a 34-31 cushion.
Mobley hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the third quarter but McClain followed that up with a 3-pointer of his own to cut Lincolnton’s lead to 45-41 at the end of the third period.
Lincolnton and North Lincoln, along with Bandys and West Lincoln, are participating in the Peoples Bank Holiday Clash on Thursday and Friday. North Lincoln plays Bandys at 5 p.m. Thursday. Lincolnton opens the tournament against West Lincoln at 8 p.m. Thursday.