LINCOLNTON — Lincolnton’s girls varsity basketball team trailed at halftime only six times during the 2012-2013 season.
The co-Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference champion Lady Wolves (22-5) had late-game rallies to take wins in two of those games. But in the second round of the 2A state playoffs against the No. 6 East Burke Lady Cavaliers on Wednesday, that rally just couldn’t get started.
No. 3 Lincolnton fell 60-38 after being outscored by East Burke in each quarter but the first. The Lady Wolves took a 17-14 lead out of the first quarter but East Burke took an 18-17 advantage in the opening minutes of the second quarter and led the rest of the way.
Lincolnton senior Treasure Avery scored a team-high 22 points, with 12 points in the first quarter alone and 6-6 free throw shooting. Senior Alexis Killian added nine points.
East Burke (24-5) advances to a third-round sectional championship game against No. 2 Bandys (26-2) today. The winner will face either No. 1 Mountain Heritage or No. 4 Pisgah in the regional championship.
Wednesday’s game was the last in the high school careers of nine players on Lincolnton’s 14-man roster, including four of its five starters.
Lincolnton senior Sydney Devine made a 3-pointer from the wing to put Lincolnton ahead 3-2 early in the first quarter. East Burke came out in a full-court press moments later and the Lady Wolves responded with a full-court defense of their own.
The lead changed eight more times in the first quarter. Avery knotted the score at 12-12 with a short jumper and then turned a steal into a 3-pointer to give Lincolnton a 17-14 lead.
Lincolnton managed five second-quarter points, all from the hands of Killian. Avery added seven of Lincolnton’s 11 points in the third quarter.
East Burke outscored Lincolnton 19-5 in the fourth quarter, with 10 of those points coming from free throws.