Lincoln turns up heat on Harrodsburg

December 10, 2003|MARTY WARREN

STANFORD - Often, a little friendly persuasion in the huddle can be all a team needs to turn a game around.

Lincoln County coach Jeff Jackson didn't think his team was giving the effort needed in the first quarter against Harrodsburg Tuesday night.

He wasn't pleased with the Patriots' defensive effort in the period, but he didn't have to say very much in the huddle about it. Instead, he had a couple of players do most of the talking.

"We didn't do a very good job defensively in the first quarter, and I was worried about our mental preparation," Jackson said. "But we had a couple players really get after the team in between quarters urging them to play better defense. From that point on, we played like we were capable of playing."


The "do better" talk must have worked. Lincoln held Harrodsburg to 15 percent shooting in the first half and 21 percent overall and routed the Pioneers 68-30.

Harrodsburg coach Spencer Tatum said shooting and defense makes all the difference in any game.

"We played well for a quarter, but shooting can camouflage a lot of weaknesses," Tatum said. "We scored three points in the second quarter and six in the third. You won't win any games shooting like that."

The two squads had problems finding the basket during the first period. Harrodsburg connected on three of 12 attempts, while Lincoln managed to hit only three of nine tries.

Justin Doolin was the Pioneers' only offense during the quarter, while Nate Rice scored six points and Nathan Norman two and Harrodsburg held a slim 9-8 advantage when the period came to a close.

Robbie Merriman's 3-pointer gave Harrodsburg a 12-10 lead with 6:44 to play in the half, but the Pioneers went the rest of the quarter without a basket and finished the frame 1-for-15 from the field and 4-for-27 for the half for an ice-cold 15 percent mark.

Lincoln, meanwhile, began to light up the scoreboard in the second period, nailing nine of 14 tries from the field and dishing out eight assists to grab a 27-12 halftime lead.

Norman scored eight points, Jonathon True had four, Chris Hart nailed a trey and Jared Long had a layup during the onslaught.

"Our defense was good from the second quarter on," Jackson said. "We had 18 assists in the game, and I can live with that.

"We did move the ball better on offense, and a lot of that was contributed by what we did on the defensive end of the floor. Our defense wasn't very good Friday (in a loss at Wayne County), but it was much better tonight."

Tatum could see the Patriots' attitude change in the second quarter.

"They got a little confidence, made good passes and their shots began to fall," the Harrodsburg coach said. "It looked like their kids were enjoying playing the game, and it looked like our kids just got out of the dentist's office. They couldn't wait for the game to be over."

Nathan, 12-for-16 from the field, led the Patriots with 26 points, while True, a 6-10 senior, had 15 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.

"We took Jon out the last three minutes of the first quarter because I didn't think he was giving a very good effort," Jackson said. "When he came back in to start the second quarter, though, he was more aggressive and assertive on both ends of the floor. When he plays like that, he can be an impact player for us."

Harrodsburg (0-3) scored only four points during a span of 14:22, and Lincoln led by as many as 41 at 65-24 with four minutes to play.

After a cold shooting first quarter, Lincoln (1-1) finished a red-hot 29-for-47 for 62 percent while Harrodsburg hit 10 of 47 tries for 21 percent.

Lincoln outrebounded the Pioneers 43-23.

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