Prep Basketball: Lincoln County girls earn 55-40 win over Casey
Lincoln County¿s Ciara Saylor, one of five Patriots playing their final game at home Friday, gets a hug from Lincoln assistant coach Julie Lair as she leaves the game in the fourth quarter of the Patriots¿ 55-40 win over Casey County. Behind Saylor is fellow senior Sydney Harris. (February 17, 2013)
The five Patriot seniors — Kourtney Belcher, Emily Fox, Chansler Gilbert, Sydney Harris and Ciara Saylor — combined for 38 points to lead Lincoln in a 55-40 win over visiting Casey County on Friday night.
“To see them out there on the floor tonight and to send them off with a win on their home floor is something special,” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter said. “It was a big night for our seniors and I’m so proud that we could send them off like this.”
Fox led the seniors and Lincoln with a game-high 16 points. Harris finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists, Belcher had eight points and eight rebounds and Saylor had three points.
The 12th Region matchup was tight early, with Casey (11-15) holding a 13-12 edge late in the first quarter. But the lead would be shortlived. Saylor bombed in a 3-pointer for Lincoln (22-5) to close the first and set off a 17-1 scoring tear to turn the deficit into a 30-14 lead.
Casey, which shot 32 percent (14-for-44) from the field overall, could not buy a bucket during the Lincoln run, going 0-for-10.
“The second quarter we got impatient and, when you play against a pretty good defensive team, that’s when you’ve got to be more patient and wait for your opportunities,” Casey coach Randy Salyers said. “We’ve got to wait for our good opportunities. Whether it’s 30 seconds into a possession, 45 or a minute, I don’t care about the time as long as we get a good look at the basket. And we didn’t do that the second quarter.”
Lincoln went on top to stay, 15-13, off the Saylor trey and Tiandra Hocker got the scoring started in the second quarter with a bucket off a Saylor assist. She also had two free throws. Fox drained two 3-pointers in the run and added a free throw toss and Harris and Saylor added a bucket apiece to put the margin at 30-14 with 1:46 left in the first half.
Tiara Cochran had Casey’s lone point in the first 6:37 of the second quarter, hitting the back end of a two-shot foul just over a minute into the period. The Rebels did not score again until just 1:23 remained when Sarah Beard sank two free throws. It wasn’t until just 15 ticks were left in the half that Jasmine Johnson scored a field goal to make it 33-18 at the break.
“We finally got things clicking in the second quarter,” McWhorter said. “I thought we played well the first quarter, but the second quarter we definitely got things clicking the way that we wanted too and then were able to extend the lead right there before the half.”
But Lincoln’s offense stumbled in the third quarter. The Patriots, who shot 44 percent (19-for-44) overall from the field, went 2-for-7 early in the second half and turned the ball over three times, opening the door for a Casey comeback.
And the Rebels rallied. Johnson, who had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, stole the opening possession of the second half then nailed a 3-pointer to ignite a 14-4 run. Casey, which was 6-for-24 from 3 overall, collected four of those treys in the run with Christine Terry hitting two 3s and Sarah Beard, one, as the Lincoln lead was trimmed to five, 37-32, midway of the third.
“We got impatient in the second half and didn’t wait for good opportunities so that’s what we talked about at halftime,” Salyers said. “And the third quarter we came out and did a much better job.”
“I saw some things out of my team tonight that I haven’t seen in a while. Even though it was mainly for three-quarters of the third quarter I did see a lot more fight in our team and a lot more grit in our team, and that’s what I like. The score, yes you want to win, but right now that’s what we’re looking for.”
McWhorter never doubted that Casey would come charging back.
“I knew they were going to come back right after halftime. They’re not going to lay down — they’re Casey County — and Coach Salyers isn’t going to let his girls duck their heads or quit on him,” she said. “I told the girls at halftime that they were going to get after us and try to penetrate more. And that’s what they did.”
Despite the fight, Casey just could not overcome Lincoln’s early lead.
Hocker scored on a putback with 2:18 left in the third quarter to set off a 10-2 run and set Lincoln up for the win. Hocker, who came off the bench for 11 points, four rebounds and four steals, got six points and two steals in the run to help put the Pats up 47-34.
“Tiandra gave us a huge spark,” McWhorter said. “She played really good the other night in the JV championship game over at KSD. She’s playing good basketball right now and I hope she can continue to give us that big spark, that lift off the bench.”
Lincoln outrebounded Casey 29-20 and had 12 assists, 10 steals and 15 turnovers. Casey had eight steals, five assists and 14 turnovers.
Casey County 13 18 34 40
Lincoln County 15 33 47 55
LINCOLN (22-5) — Emily Fox 16, Ciara Saylor 3, Sydney Harris 11, Rachel Spangler 4, Kourtney Belcher 8, Spencer Sims 2, Tiandra Hocker 11.
CASEY (11-15) — Jasmine Johnson 12, Katie Douglas 2, Lakken Miller 3, Sarah Beard 5, Christine Terry 10, Tiara Cochran 4, Mariah Richardson 2, Brooke Snow 2.