Garrard boys use defense to defeat Lincoln 46-37

January 04, 2004|MARTY WARREN

LANCASTER - Garrard County coach Cecil Combs knows his team must compensate for mediocre shooting with a defense that suffocates opponents.

The host Golden Lions did just that here Friday night as they limited Lincoln County to only 33 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers in a 46-37 victory.

Combs played a 2-3 zone to attempt to keep the ball away from 6-10 center Jonathan True of Lincoln while he was in the game, went man-to-man when True got into foul trouble in the second period and closed the game with a press that at one point forced four turnovers in five trips down the floor.

"We went into the game wanting to keep the ball away from True in the middle while limiting the shots from (Chris) Hart and (Nathan) Norman," Combs said.


"We knew who we had to stop. If (True) gets the ball inside, he is hard to stop. We did a good job denying him the ball while he was in the game. We also wanted to take away the 3-point shot and I thought we defended it well."

Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said it was time for his team to start making plays.

"I thought we had made some progress after the way we played in the Laurel County tournament, but obviously we haven't," the Lincoln coach said.

"We took steps backward tonight. We were outcoached, outhustled and outplayed in all areas. Garrard outworked us and I'm totally embarrassed by the way we played. We had a game plan, but we played wild on both ends of the floor."

True was able to get off only two shots in the first period and seven of the Patriots' 13 shots in the quarter came from behind the 3-point arc.

"When you have a man as big as Jonathan in the middle, you have to get him the ball more," Jackson said. "We hit only two of 20 shots from 3-point range. It's not hard to see why we played so poorly."

Back-to-back baskets by True gave Lincoln a 9-8 advantage, but Spencer Toler closed the first period with five straight points to give the Lions a 13-9 lead entering the second quarter.

The second stanza was much of the same as True scored five points and Matt Reynolds four to give Lincoln (5-6) a 20-16 lead. Once again Garrard finished the period strong.

True went to the bench with his second foul at the 3:11 mark and Spencer Crutchfield and Daniel Leavell scored following rebounds before the period came to a close to knot the game at 20-20 at the half.

The score was tied at 24-24 in the third quarter when True picked up his third foul with 4:39 to play.

From that point on, Garrard attacked the basket more and went on a 13-3 scoring run to close the period leading 37-27. Sean Paul Leavell scored seven points while Coy Lucas added five during the scoring spree and gave Garrard (6-4) a big lift entering the final period.

"With True out of the game, it gives you a better chance to attack the basket," Combs said. "He's going to block shots when he is in the game, but I don't want our guys to be tentative with him in the game. You have to keep taking it inside. We are not a good shooting team. We have to rely on our defense to win games."

Lincoln trimmed the lead to five at 39-34, but could get no closer despite the fact Garrard missed three of four free throws in the final minute of the game. The Lions connected on only 11 of 23 free throws for the game.

"We will have to get better in that area if we expect to win close games," the Garrard coach said.

The Lions finished 16 of 42 from the field for 39 percent while Lincoln hit 15 of 45 tries for 33 percent. The Patriots won the rebounding battle 37-27 as True pulled down 10 missed shots and blocked four shots.

Daniel Leavell and Crutchfield had six each for the Lions. Lincoln committed 19 turnovers compared to 11 for Garrard.

Unusual doubleheader Monday

Lincoln will play an unusual doubleheader Monday at Danville due to work still being finished on their floor. The girls will play Danville at 6 p.m. and the boys will battle Boyle County at 7:30 p.m.

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