By RYAN HERMAN
VALE –– Everything was going West Lincoln’s way entering the fourth quarter. Bandys had just picked up two technicals, and Luke Webb drained three free throws to make the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference boys basketball contest a game again.
But when the final quarter began, the Trojans were the only team to start with it.
Dylan Wambold’s game-high 15 points led four Bandys players in double figures, and it opened the last eight minutes with eight unanswered points on its way to a 69-54 win over the Rebels on Friday.
Bandys’ Colton Medlin picked up back-to-back technical fouls ending his night with 3.2 seconds left in the third quarter. Webb, who had a team-high 12 points, missed the first of the four technical free throws but hit the last three to cut what was once a nine-point deficit down to four at 49-45 to end the quarter.
The Rebels (1-14, 0-6) entered the fourth outscoring the Trojans 12-7 the last five minutes of the third. But that momentum died with the quarter-ending buzzer.
Bandys (8-7, 3-3) opened the fourth with an 8-0 run and outscored West Lincoln 20-9 in the decisive quarter.
“I felt good about it,” Rebels coach Karl Sain said about entering the final period with some life. “We’re just having trouble with consistency. Whether it’s defensive consistency getting stops, whether it’s offensive consistency (hitting shots). The biggest thing is just consistency.”
West Lincoln was able to generate some stops in the first half, but the Trojans’ 3-point shooting kept it in front after it took the lead for good at 20-19.
Bandys hit five 3s in the first half, and added four more in the second, while West Lincoln struggled to find its shot the full 32 minutes.
The Rebels, who led twice in a first quarter that had four ties and three lead changes, shot 22 percent (4 for 18) from behind the arc and 32 percent (18 for 57) from the field.
“Part of that is trying to do too much and not trusting each other and trusting the offense,” Sain said of his team’s shooting woes.
While the basket seemed small to West Lincoln, which lost for the fourth straight game, scoring wasn’t a problem for Bandys in the second half.
Jelani Culliver had 13 points, Sawyer Frye scored 10 and Jonah Griffith added 12 for the Trojans, who shot 58 percent (14 for 24) in the decisive half and hit 4 of its 8 3-point attempts.
Bandys’ shots didn’t fall in the first half –– 10 for 29 –– in part because West Lincoln’s defense and rebounding was much better in the first 16 minutes.
“We were getting some stops in the first half, part of that was because Bandys missed some shots and part of it was because we just did a good job of rebounding. But in the second half (the Trojans) hit their shots,” Sain said.
Harry Huddleston had nine points off the bench for West Lincoln, which outrebounded the Trojans 37-33. But its game was summed up by too many missed opportunities.
“We just had trouble finishing some plays,” Sain said. “We did some good things, and we’re working on some things, but we’re just inconsistent right now.”
WEST LINCOLN 15
The Trojans had five reach double figures and held the Rebels to two points in the first half as the state’s top-ranked 2A girls team improved to 15-0.
Madi Story scored 18 points, Sara Goble added 14, Morgan Bibey 13, Haleigh Lackey 12 and Ace Easter scored 10 for Bandys (6-0 SD-7), which outscored West Lincoln (5-10, 0-6) 23-0 in the first quarter and led 47-2 at the break.
Erin Huff led the Rebels with five points.