DANVILLE — Every Boyle County shot seemed to go through the net in the first quarter, and almost nothing was falling for Lincoln County.
And that was a combination the Patriots just couldn’t overcome.
The district championship trophy was moved well out of the reach of the Lincoln boys early in the game Friday, and they couldn’t get close enough in the final three periods to pry it away from Boyle, which won the 45th District Tournament with a 67-54 victory in the title game at Rebel Arena.
The Rebels outscored the Patriots 15-1 over the first 5 minutes, 17 seconds and were never threatened en route to their second consecutive title and their third in four years.
No. 1 seed Boyle (15-12) went 4-for-6 from 3-point range and 7-for-11 overall from the field in the first quarter, while third-seeded Lincoln (15-17) missed its first six field-goal attempts and was 2-for-10 in the first period.
“They came out shooting the ball really, really well, and we didn’t do a very good job in the zone getting out and contesting their two best shooters,” Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said. “They hit the first three 3s and we were down 9-to-1, and it makes it kind of tough. They built on that momentum. I didn’t have the kids ready to play, and apparently our game plan was not what it should have been.”
Lincoln lost to Boyle for the third time in as many games this season and came up short in its bid for its first district crown since 2009. But, as runners-up, the Patriots still earned a chance to return home and play in the 12th Region Tournament, where they faced West Jessamine Tuesday night.
The Patriots held a 1-0 lead for all of 32 seconds after Luke Hill hit one of two free throws before the Rebels took control. Hagen Tyler, Brett Jones and Chapman Bean sank three 3-point shots in an 87-second span to give the Rebels a 9-1 lead after 3:12 and kick off a run of 15 unanswered points.
“We told ourselves, ‘Lincoln is a great shooting team, and if they come out hot in the first three minutes it’s going to be tough, so we’ve got to match their intensity,’”¿Boyle forward Aram Martin said. “When we got up 15-1, I think we knew, basically, it was over then.”
The Rebels hit at least half of their shots for the second time is as many tournament games. They were 7-for-14 from 3-point range and 21-for-41 overall from the field, and they were 47-for-93 from the field in their two tournament games.
The Rebels also dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Patriots 32-16. Micah Miniard had 15 rebounds while Lincoln’s leading rebounder, B.J. Hoover, had only four boards.
Jackson said losing the battle of the boards kept Lincoln from mounting any sort of serious comeback.
“They beat us on the glass, and we told our kids the number one key tonight was neutralizing them on the boards, and we failed to do that,” he said. “We’d get a couple of baskets and try to make a run, and they shot and missed and we failed to get the rebound on two or three occasions. We’ve got to do a better job of rebounding the basketball.”
Timmy Taylor scored 11 points in the second half and finished with 15 points and six assists for Lincoln, which shot 42 percent from the field but was just 4-for-15 from 3-point range. Jacob Conway and Luke Hill had 13 points each, and both were 5-for-10 from the field.
The Patriots made 14 of 18 free throws — Taylor was 8-for-10 — but Boyle made 18 of 19.
Lincoln never got closer than 13 points after Tyler’s 3-pointer with 1:39 left in the first half gave Boyle a 32-17 lead. Tyler led the Rebels with 25 points, going 4-for-6 from 3-point range, 6-for-12 overall from the field and 9-for-10 at the foul line.
Boyle led 41-21 with 4:39 left in the third quarter after Bean buried a 3-point shot to cap a 7-0 run, and the Rebels took their largest lead at 52-28 in the closing seconds of the period after Bean and Tyler sank two free throws each on consecutive trips.
The Patriots pulled within 59-44 midway through the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer by Taylor and a jumper by Hill, but Miniard derailed the rally with putback baskets on Boyle’s next two possessions, making it 63-45 with 3:42 to play.
“We’re awful young, and we play young sometimes, so we’ve just got to keep working and trying to get better,”¿Jackson said.