By RYAN HERMAN
CATAWBA –– It didn’t take long for Bandys to realize Monday was going to be its night.
It took West Lincoln equally as long to figure out that it wasn’t.
Five reached double figures as the Trojans set a season-high mark for points scored, and they showed the Rebels no mercy in an 81-48 win on Monday night.
Bandys head coach Scott Stilwell said his team’s senior night performance was “the best and most complete game we’ve played all year,” while West Lincoln coach Karl Sain found it hard to describe how his team went from winning its first conference game in three seasons on Friday to barely showing up on Monday.
“We seem to be a lot of teams’ best games,” Sain said.
Using a once-a-season starting lineup of all seniors, the Trojans (10-12, 5-8 Southern District 7 2A) and Rebels (2-20, 1-12) were actually tied 2-2 halfway through the first quarter.
But then the bottom fell out for West Lincoln.
Bandys closed the first half outscoring the Rebels 43-16, and the game was never any closer.
Senior Hunter McCall matched junior Farod Hooker with 14 points, while seniors Jonah Griffith, Colton Medlin and junior Jelani Culliver added 11 points each.
Dylan Frady scored 14 points for the Rebels, who were coming off their own senior night win, a 44-35 victory over Maiden last week that gave them their first league triumph since beating Bessemer City 65-53 on Feb. 8, 2011.
Looking for its first win streak of the season, nothing seemed to go West Lincoln’s way for the first time against Bandys this year.
The Trojans overcame a huge second-half deficit to knock off the Rebels for the Peoples Bank Holiday Clash in December, then they pulled away late in the teams’ first SD-7 meeting last month.
West Lincoln at least had a shot in those games, but in this one, it was all Bandys.
The Trojans shot 49 percent (29 of 59), and hit 8 of its 17 3-point attempts for a 47-percent mark behind the arc. West Lincoln, marred by 24 turnovers, shot just 33 percent (17 of 52), and its long-range shooting was off, too.
The Rebels, a usually good 3-point shooting team, hit just 6 of their 16 attempts, 3 of 7 by leading scorer Frady. They also struggled at the line, converting just 8 of their 22 free throw attempts while Bandys hit 15 of 20.
“We couldn’t stop (the Trojans), and we couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Sain said. “It was just a bad night.”
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Bandys’ top-ranked girls team did what it’s done to SD-7 opponents all season, and senior guard Madi Story scored her 2,000th career point in the process.
The Trojans (22-0, 13-0) outscored West Lincoln (5-17, 0-13) 35-8 in the first quarter. Story, who’s signed with Appalachian State, scored 15 points to give her 2,006 in her career. North Lincoln transfer Ace Easter led all scorers with 24 points.
Madison Ferguson led West Lincoln with four points.