Foul trouble haunts Lincoln in 77-59 loss

December 21, 2003|MARTY WARREN

STANFORD - North Laurel is ranked as one of the top three teams in the 12th Region and knows how to take advantage of opponents' problems.

Friday night, they took advantage of Lincoln County's foul trouble to open a 46-24 lead at the half and never looked back while coasting to a 77-59 win over the host Patriots.

The Jaguars (5-1) went on a 13-0 run after Lincoln scored the game's opening basket, then seized complete control of the game after the Patriots' 6-10 center Jonathon True was forced to the bench after picking up his second foul with 6:55 to play in the half. The Jags connected on 12 of 14 attempts from the field during the second quarter and 64 percent of their shots during the first half. Lincoln turned the ball over nine times during the second period against North Laurel's 2-1-2 half court defense.

"We didn't play very good defense in half-court or in transition," Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said. "We didn't take care of the basketball and made poor decisions. I didn't do a very good job coaching or teaching my team, and you have to give them a lot of credit for coming in here and taking it to us. We just didn't play well all night."


True scored the game's opening basket, but the Jaguars received eight points from Michael Robinson, who injured his hand late in the first period and played sparingly afterward, as part of a 13-0 scoring run to lead 13-2. True and Chris Hart, who scored 25 and 24 points, respectively, scored three points each to trim the lead to 13-8 and North Laurel led 15-8 after one period.

True picked up his second foul early in the second frame and the Jags went to their half-court trapping defense to force five turnovers in six trips down the floor to open a 33-12 advantage. Hart, who scored 16 points during the first half, hit a 3-pointer with 4:33 to play in the half for the Patriots' first basket of the period.

North coach Ken Woods, whose team lost a 55-53 decision to cross-town rival South Laurel Tuesday, said his team's defense was much better against the Patriots.

"We shot the ball better in the second quarter, but a lot of that had to do with our half-court defense," Woods said. "The key to the game, though, was when True went out of the game with foul trouble. That opened it up for us. (Josh) Asher had a nice game after having to sit out our last game with an injury, and Michael Robinson hurt his thumb in the first quarter tonight. You get those two healthy and put them alongside Daniel Dillion and we can be a pretty good ballclub."

Dillon, an Arizona signee, led the Jags with 20 points while Asher added 13.

Jackson agreed that things began to change for the worse for the Patriots when his big center was forced to the bench.

"It was a frustration foul, but it changed the whole complexion of the game," the Lincoln coach said. "They (North) did a lot of things right, but it wasn't anything different than what we prepared for. They just did it better."

True returned to score eight points as Lincoln connected on 7 of 11 attempts from the field in the third period, but the Patriots committed six more turnovers and continued to trail 65-39 entering the final quarter.

North led by as many as 26 at 67-41 in the fourth quarter.

The Jaguars connected on 30 of 59 attempts from the field for 51 percent while Lincoln (3-3) finished 22 of 55 for 40 percent. The one bright spot for Lincoln was a 36-26 rebounding advantage as Nathan Norman grabbed 10 to led the Pats while True added eight and had five blocked shots. On the downside, Lincoln committed 25 turnovers compared to 16 for North Laurel.

NORTH LAUREL (5-1) - Michael Robinson 7, Daniel Dillon 20, Treat Jones 7, Shanade Allen 6, Tyler Brown 4, Brandon Maggers 4, Josh Asher 13, Jesse Sizemore 6, Mike White 7, John L. Smith 3.

LINCOLN (3-3) - Justin Kolasa 1, Kelly Reed 1, Matt Reynolds 4, Chris Hart 24, Nathan Norman 4, Jonathon True 25.

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