STANFORD — Lincoln County roughed up visiting McCreary Central Tuesday night.
The Patriots’ offensive attack, consisting of outside shots, beautiful baseline drives, furious fast breaks and plenty of assists saw four players scoring double figures to lead Lincoln in an 80-55 rout.
Jacob Conway had a game-high 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, Luke Hill double-doubled with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and BJ Hoover and Brandon Pittman each scored 11 points to pace the Patriots.
As a team, Lincoln (10-12) was at 45 percent from the field on 29-for-65 shooting, 9-for-25 from behind the arc. Four players knocked down 3-pointers, with Hoover and Neil Conley each draining three treys, Pittman sinking two and Shade Jacobs hitting one.
“We had four in double figures, we had nine 3s, and Luke had a double-double. We shot the ball well tonight,” Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said. “Of course, we’re sharing the ball real, real well right now. We’re being very unselfish and looking for the guy that’s open, and we’re shooting well.”
Timmy Taylor did not finish high in the team scoring (4 points) but he was in on a lot of the night’s scoring, dishing to teammates for a school-record 14 assists.
“He played real, real well and I’m very happy for him,” Jackson said. “He missed some opportunities around the basket and could have had a couple more (points), but he’s very unselfish and does a good job pushing the ball in transition and getting the ball to the right guy who is in the position to score. A lot of people like the points, but Timmy would rather make a great pass than anything else.”
Lincoln had McCreary Central (8-12) playing catchup from the opening tip, with Hoover nailing two 3-pointers from the left wing to get the Patriots started on a 13-4 run. Conway hit inside to give Lincoln an 8-2 edge then Pittman followed with two free throws before knocking down a 3-pointer. Kyle Tucker, who led McCreary with 16 points, went inside for the Raiders’ four points.
Josh Gregory, who finished with 11 points, scored back-to-back goals late in the first to get McCreary within 17-12 but Conley hit from 3-point range with six ticks showing to make it 20-12 after the first quarter.
McCreary got no closer the rest of the way.
Lincoln started cushioning its lead early in the second quarter, opening the frame with a 13-0 run and never looking back. Hill and Conway had four points apiece in the run, Conley hit from 3-points out and Taylor sank two free throws for a 33-12 advantage midway of the second quarter.
Jackson said he was pleased with his team’s strong start, but that he was also aware that McCreary Central might not be at peak performance in the game.
“We got off to a good start. I thought we moved the ball well, and we defended pretty good, especially the first half. But they’ve had some things go on down there,”¿he said. “They’ve got some kids out with the flu. They are out of school today and tomorrow because of it. They’ve got two kids on crutches and a third one just got off crutches. And their coach (Robert Jones) is not here. He’s got a broke foot and is in a wheelchair and isn’t doing away games because of travel restrictions.”
The Patriots went on to outscore the Raiders 21-4 in the second quarter to build a 41-16 halftime lead.
McCreary, which shot 47 percent (21-for-45) from the field overall, struggled in the second quarter, getting just two of its 13 shot attempts to fall. Tucker and Tyler Longmire scored the Raiders’ two buckets.
Lincoln led by as many as 38 points in the third quarter, using a 19-6 run to go up 60-22 with 2:08 left in the period. Conway had nine points in the run, Hill had seven and Pittman had three.
Tucker scored a bucket and a 3-pointer to ignite a 13-2 McCreary run to close out the third. Gregory added seven points, including a three-point play to make it 62-35 heading into the fourth quarter.
Lincoln answered with an 11-0 run to start the final frame and rolled on to collect the 25-point win.
“We wanted to get a good win tonight and have a good day in the weight room tomorrow, a good practice on Thursday and try to get ready for a huge, huge district game with Boyle County on Friday,”¿Jackson said.
Because of Lincoln’s lopsided margin in the second half, Jackson took advantage to give the Patriot bench game time.
“Everybody got an opportunity to play tonight and we’re real happy about that,”¿he said. “I thought some kids came in and did some good things. Again, they work hard in practice too, and when you get an opportunity to put them in the game, put them in the game and reward them for all their hard work that they do.”
The Patriots were 13-for-19 from the free throw line while the Raiders were 10-for-15.
Lincoln outrebounded McCreary 39-25 led by Hill’s 10 boards. Hoover and Andrew Wilks each had seven rebounds and Pittman and Conway had four apiece. Tucker led the Raiders with seven rebounds.
Lincoln had 11 turnovers to McCreary’s 18.