After last Friday night’s poor shooting performance led to a South Fork 2A loss at Maiden in their regular-season finale, the Lincolnton boys seemed eager to get back on the court.
Tuesday night, the Wolves came out scorching hot in the first half and built a 34-point lead by the break, then cruised the rest of the way for a 67-33 victory over county-rival North Lincoln in the first round of the SF2A conference tournament at Lincolnton.
Robbie Cowie scored 19 of his game-high 24 points in the opening half, knocking down five 3-pointers along the way.
The Wolves went on a 15-0 run late in the first period to stretch their early lead to 22-4, then began the second quarter with a 13-3 stretch to open up a 35-13 lead that all but put the game out of reach.
“We talked about getting off to a good start,” said Lincolnton head coach Bob Cowie. “We definitely got off to a good start tonight.”
And did they. The Wolves made nine of their 16 field goal attempts in the first period, including 3 of 4 shots from behind the arc. They followed that up by connecting on 11 of 16 shot attempts in the second quarter, while making good on 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
Lincolnton (19-5) took a commanding 50-16 lead by the end of the half.
The Wolves outscored North Lincoln 12-2 to open the third period, taking their biggest lead of the evening at 62-18. At that point, Cowie called timeout and pulled all five starters for the night.
In addition to Robbie Cowie’s big night, Tyshaun Harris and Cordel Littlejohn also scored in double figures with 15 and 10 respectively for the Wolves.
Lincolnton wound up 28 for 51 (55%) from the field, and an even better nine for 14 from 3-point range.
Lance Bailey scored 10 to lead the Knights. North Lincoln (8-15) finished just 12 of 48 (25%) from the field and made only three of their 16 shots from behind the arc. The Knights turned the ball over 14 times in the first half.
The Wolves will now take on Newton-Conover in Thursday night’s semifinal game at 8 p.m. at CVCC in Hickory. The Red Devils upset Maiden 40-37 on Tuesday.
North Lincoln 7 9 7 10 - 33
Lincolnton 22 28 14 3 - 67
North Lincoln: Lance Bailey 10, Johnson 9, Thornhill 5, Carter 3, McKinney 2, McRorie 2, Vega 2. Lincolnton: Robbie Cowie 24, Tyshaun Harris 15, Cordel Littlejohn 10, Hoover 4, Robinson 3, J. Littlejohn 2, Evans 2, Ford 2, Davis 2, Forney 2, Derr 1.
Girls: Lincolnton 50, West Lincoln 35
After falling behind 5-0 to start the game, the Lady Wolves scored 19 of the final 22 points of the first quarter Tuesday night to take control of their SF2A opening-round tournament game against the Lady Rebels.
Three Lincolnton players, Hundley Rhyne, Serenity Finger and Mica Dyson scored 13 points each as the Lady Wolves held off a late West Lincoln rally for a 50-35 victory that sent them into tonight’s semifinal game against Lake Norman Charter at 6:30 p.m. at CVCC in Hickory.
Lake Norman Charter eliminated the East Lincoln Lady Mustangs 69-61 Tuesday night in Huntersville.
Lincolnton (18-6), who clinched the regular-season championship last Friday, scored the first 11 points of the third period to build a 37-14 advantage, then played reserves in and out for the remainder of the game.
West Lincoln (3-21), who sees their season come to an end, was led by Mattie Wyant’s 11 points.
West Lincoln 8 6 3 18 - 35
Lincolnton 19 7 17 7 - 50
West Lincoln: Mattie Wyant 11, Chapman 9, Gilmore 7, Willis 5, Grant 3. Lincolnton: Hundley Rhyne 13, Serenity Finger 13, Mica Dyson 13, Smith 4, A. Rhyne 3, Derr 2, Shain 1, Killian 1.