Basketball: Lincoln girls hold off Garrard for 58-48 victory
Lincoln County's Sydney Harris (22) shoots over two Garrard County defenders during the Patriots' 58-48 win over Garrard County on Tuesday. Harris scored 18 points. (Nancy Leedy / January 16, 2013)
Lincoln has remained unbeaten against Garrard during the past six seasons, going 15-0 against Garrard. The Patriots haven’t lost to the Golden Lions since Dec. 6, 2006.
Unlike the first meeting between the two teams this season, which Lincoln won 57-45, there were no 32-point Lincoln leads in Tuesday’s rematch at J.C. Eddleman Gymnasium. In fact there were no double-digit leads at all until the final period.
“I thought tonight would be a little bit closer (than first meeting),” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “Garrard is a tough team. They’ve got good players and they are well-coached. I knew they would be coming in here looking to win. But I thought we did a good job of staying in the game. I’d like to see us get some defensive stops at critical times, but overall I’m happy with the way the girls played.”
Garrard (9-5, 0-4 45th District) overcame a slow start to post a 13-12 lead in the first quarter Tuesday, but Lincoln (15-4, 4-0), which shot 50 percent (25 for 50) from the field, outpointed the Lions the rest of the way to earn the win.
The Lions shot just 38 percent (18 for 47) from the field and turned the ball over 19 times.
“It’s like if you paint a beautiful picture and just right in the middle of the picture you just start scribbling. That’s kind of what we did,” Garrard coach Scott Bolin said. “We played very well for 27, 28 minutes, but then we have a four- or five-minute stretch where we don’t play very well.”
“Tonight, I thought we played well overall, but we had mental breakdowns in each quarter. Probably three to five possessions each quarter, and you can’t do that, especially against a team like Lincoln. To our credit, I told the girls we played well enough to put ourselves in a spot to be very competitive and have a chance.”
Neither team was able to gain control in the first half. Lincoln was on top early, with Fox draining a game-opening 3-point shot and then Harris following with a jumper for a 5-0 lead.
But Devin Conley, who had a game-high 22 points, got Garrard on the scoreboard a minute and a half into the game with a three-point play and Victoria Floyd drove the baseline for a bucket to tie it up at 5-all.
The teams traded buckets for the remainder of the period, but Kelly Smith scored last, easing Garrard on top 13-12 just before the buzzer.
In the second quarter, the teams went from trading buckets to trading runs. Lincoln rolled off seven unanswered points to start, including five from Fox, to build a 19-13 lead, only to have Garrard answer with a 5-0 run midway through the period.
Conley was all alone in the Garrard run, converting on a three-point play, then following with a layup off a steal to get the Lions within 19-18.
Lincoln’s advantage grew to eight points by the half after an 8-1 closing run. Kelsi Honaker opened the run with a driving layup, Harris cashed in two field goals and Rachel Spangler drove inside for a score and a 27-19 lead.
Lincoln went 7 for 11 from the field to build its lead in the second quarter. Garrard struggled throughout the period, going 2 for 11. The Lions also had eight turnovers.
“We missed a lot of easy shots. We got the ball where we wanted to but we missed a lot of easy opportunities,” Bolin said. “We missed some defensive assignments, too. We left Harris wide open two times, we left Fox open two times, and (Ciara) Saylor once. And they buried them all five times. That’s what good teams do to you. You can’t miss those assignments, you can’t miss those opportunities on the offensive end.”
Conley provided the bulk of Garrard’s scoring in the first half, tallying 15 of the team’s 19 points.
Conley and the Lions rebounded from their second-quarter scoring slump and went to work whittling away at Lincoln’s lead in the second half.
After a putback by Lincoln’s Kourtney Belcher to start the second half, Garrard broke on a 9-0 scoring tear. Floyd, who finished with 11 points, opened with a field goal, Conley stepped back to drain a 3, then dished to Autumn Murray for a bucket and Kelly Smith, who had 10 points, scored to make it 29-28, with 4:35 to go in the third quarter.