The Lincolnton Lady Wolves girls varsity basketball team is in “uncharted territory” according to head coach Jimmy Carr.
The team is tied for first place in the Southern Piedmont Conference with Lake Norman Charter with a 7-1 conference record after taking a 61-34 loss to LNC on Thursday. Lincolnton won the first meeting between the two teams 47-42 on Jan. 4 and was in sole possession of first place in the conference before Thursday.
“It’s been an exciting season so far,” Carr said. “We realize that we have to stay the course and make sure that we don’t take any opponent lightly. Even when we’re not playing our best everyone is still playing together and working toward that goal of winning a conference championship.”
The last time the Lady Wolves won a conference championship was in the late 90s. They tied for second in the conference last year and took a win in a playoff game for the first time in 12 seasons.
“We have a chance to break a lot of barriers that the Lady Wolves haven’t in a long time,” Carr said. “I would love to be talking about this team 10 years from now, about the year that we got ourselves on track to win championships.”
Carr said the difference this year is the overall cohesiveness of the team.
“They play well together and they’re resilient,” he said. “The times that we have been down, even in conference games, they haven’t hung their heads. They’ve built each other up. They’ve played down the stretch to win the games. They’re fighting for their dream to be conference champions.”
Senior guard Alexis Killian averages 10 points, 3 assists and 3 steals per game. She said the team was like a family, and that whoever has a hot hand is the player who gets the ball.
“We’ve not had any big ego issues,” she said. “We have really good chemistry. We’re not a selfish team. Whoever is feeling it is feeling it. Everybody has their own role, and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do.”
Senior Bridgett Derr leads the team in scoring, with just under 13 points per game and is shooting 50 percent from the field. Derr is the team’s leader in rebounds with 15 per game, steals with four per game and blocks with 2.4 per game.
The Lady Wolves have had several close calls — taking a pair of wins over West Lincoln by 11 points combined and a defeat of East Lincoln by five points on Jan. 11.
“If we have a couple mental lapses here late in the year we could go from first to the middle of the pack, just like that,” Carr said. “Our biggest game is our next game. We always try to look at that next game and the scouting report and think about what we can do to win that game.”