By DAVID KEEVER
Alex Rhyne’s three-quarter court heave at the buzzer hit high off the backboard, ending Lincolnton’s frantic comeback attempt against Gastonia Forestview as the Wolves fell to the Jaguars 45-44 Wednesday night at home.
The Wolves, whose only lead was 3-2, saw Forestview take control of the game with an 11-0 run to end the first quarter.
Lincolnton played the bigger Jaguars even throughout quarter number two, and went into the break trailing 24-17.
The third period was much the same, with both teams struggling to score, and each committing numerous turnovers. The Jaguars maintained their lead however, at 36-27.
Forestview (3-4) continued to have trouble putting the ball in the basket in the final stanza, while Lincolnton began to claw its way back.
Will Saine’s bucket with 50 seconds to play pulled the Wolves to within five, and with just 14 ticks left on the clock, the junior knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 44-41.
After Mark Smith made one of two free throws for the Jaguars, Quinlyn Harris buried a 3-point basket with just 2.1 seconds remaining to close the gap to one, 45-44.
A Jaguars miss at the foul line then set up the long attempt by Rhyne as time expired on the Wolves.
“Our effort was great,” said Lincolnton head coach Bob Cowie following his team’s eight day layoff. “We’ve just got to execute better.”
The Wolves’ poor shooting kept them from overtaking a very athletic Forestview team.
Lincolnton shot only 33 percent from the field, on 15 of 45 shooting, and a mere 10 for 25 from the free throw line.
“One of our keys was to get the ball to the rim and we did that,” said Cowie. “But missing the free throws is like a turnover.”
The Wolves (2-2) begin conference play tonight as they travel to West Lincoln.
Nikkyana McCaskill scored 17 points and Felicia Berry added 10 as Forestview’s girls held off a late rally by the Wolves.
Saylor Whitesides scored a game-high 18 points for Lincolnton (2-2), which fell behind 29-15 at the break but outscored the Jaguars (2-4) 27-19 in the second half.