Basketball: Harris leads Lincoln girls to 85-78 victory over Scott
Sydney Harris of Lincoln County puts up a shot against Scott County's Tereks Guyn during Lincoln's 85-78 win Friday. Harris had 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Patriots. (Hal Morris / December 16, 2012)
The senior forward helped the Patriots open a big lead on Scott County early, then helped them stave off a rally with seven straight points in the fourth quarter that led to an 85-78 victory.
Harris hit three 3-pointers, went 10 for 11 at the free throw line and scored a 29 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds as host Lincoln won its third straight game.
“It’s very exciting to come back and play like myself, because I’ve had a few off games and it’s just good to be able to come back and feel like my old self,” Harris said. “I just felt more active, and it was just something different.”
Harris scored 13 points in the second half, but her best stretch came when Scott was threatening to take the lead. Lincoln (6-1)¿ ed 69-52 with 5 minutes, 50 seconds to play on Emily Fox’s layup, but Scott (7-2) went on an 11-0 run and trimmed the lead to 69-63 with 4:03 remaining.
Harris scored the Patriots’ next seven points, hitting a runner in the lane, converting a three-point play and getting a fast-break layup. Rachel Spangler then scored on a layup as Lincoln led 78-64 with 2:23 left to play, and the Cardinals never got closer than seven again. Lincoln was 6 for 8 from the line over the final 3:17 and finished the game 27 for 31.
“(Coach Cassandra McWhorter) just said keep playing defense and try not to foul, because they were already in the double-bonus,” Harris said. “It’s a really good win, especially because they’re not only good this year, they’ve been good in previous years. It’s just a really good program.”
McWhorter said this was the kind of game she’s been waiting for Harris to have.
“Sydney really stepped up tonight. That’s the Sydney Harris that I liked to see, and she’s really worked harder on her game this summer,” McWhorter said. “And I’m really happy she stepped up and has a big game tonight against a good team.”
Spangler had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Fox shook off a tough shooting night and added 14 points with six rebounds and Kourtney Belcher had 10 points and six rebounds.
Lincoln outrebounded Scott 49-36.
Lincoln started to take control of the game early. The Patriots scored the last six points of the first quarter on a jumper from Spencer Sims, two free throws from Harris and a steal and layup from Fox to break a 12-all tie and take the lead for good.
Scott forward Tereka Guyn picked up her second foul early in the second quarter, which sent her to the bench and opened up the inside for the Patriots, who took full advantage.
They led 25-23 when Harris started a 13-6 run with a free throw and Belcher scored inside. Up 30-25, they got most of their work done at the foul line to close out the first half.
Belcher was 6 for 6 at the line over the final 3:45, and Harris and Spangler made two free throws each to help Lincoln open a 45-29 halftime lead. Lincoln was 11 for 13 from the line in the second quarter and 18 for 21 in the first half.
“We took advantage of when Guyn got in foul trouble, and we were able to get the ball inside and were able to push the ball, and when we push the ball, good things happen,” McWhorter said.
Despite going just 5 for 18 from the field in the third quarter, Lincoln was able to keep its double digit lead. Fox’s 3-pointer made it 48-31 with 6:38 left in the quarter, and Scott never got closer than nine at 55-46. But Sims, who had eight points and five rebounds, hit a jumper and made two free throws to close out the third period and give Lincoln a 59-46 lead.
Lincoln finished 27 for 65 from the field and hit just four of 22 3-point shots. Scott was 28 for 67 overall and 4 for 20 from 3-point range, and the Cardinals hit just 17 of 31 free throws, costing them a chance to stay close.
Audriana Christopher scored a game-high 30-points for Scott, Guyn had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Laura Szorenyi had 17 points.
McWhorter said Friday’s win was a big one for the Patriots heading into tournaments over the next two weeks at Lexington Catholic and in Windermere, Fla.
“It’s good when playing a good team like Scott County and get the win. They’ve got good players, they’ve got strong players, they were 7-1 coming into tonight, and when you can control the tempo of the game and withstand their pushes and their charges at you, that’s a huge succes and things we can build on,” she said. “You don’t like to see them cut into the lead as much as they did late in the game, but still we withstood that and came out on top.”
Scott County 12 29 46 78
Lincoln County 18 45 59 85
SCOTT (7-2) — Audriana Christopher 30, Tereka Guyn 16, Danielle Defoor 9, Laura Szorenyi 17, Tamara Ray 6.
LINCOLN (6-1) — Emily Fox 14, Ciara Saylor 2, Sydney Harris 29, Rachel Spangler 14, Kourtney Belcher 10, Chansler Gilbert 6, Spencer Sims 8, Cristin Hall 2.