Lincoln girls beat Casey

January 11, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

STANFORD - Maybe the Lincoln County girls were just looking for the right stage.

Lincoln lost 10 of its first 13 games on courts from Crestwood to Monticello, but the Patriots turned in their best performance of the season Friday night on their own shiny, new floor.

They throttled Casey County for three quarters to earn a 46-37 victory, their first 45th District victory of the season, in the first game on Lincoln's refurbished floor.

"I think we were a little excited about playing on the new floor, and we got a little bit of confidence from that," Lincoln forward Jenny Jones said. "We needed this for our confidence."


The new red and blue paint scheme on the Lincoln court drew rave reviews, and so did the play of the home team, which used strong defense and rebounding to dominate the game for three quarters.

"We're tickled to death to get a win," Lincoln coach John Kolasa said. "I thought our team effort was good all the way around."

Jones, who led Lincoln with 17 points and nine rebounds, said she had an inkling early in the day that it might be. School was closed due to snow, so the players came out Friday morning for a shootaround, their first practice on their home court in three weeks.

"Everybody was pumped up, and it looked like we were ready to get after them," Jones said. "I hadn't really seen that before."

When the game started, Jones said the Patriots played just as she hoped they would.

"Everybody really worked hard; nobody was lagging," she said. "We hate it when other teams do that to us."

Casey coach Randy Salyers must know just what she means.

"I was just really disappointed in our overall effort," Salyers said. "The loss doesn't bother me as much as the lack of heart and desire to go out and play hard."

Salyers said that was reflected in a first half in which Lincoln forced 13 turnovers and outrebounded Casey 24-7.

"You always hear coaches say that defense and rebounding are all about heart and desire, and those are two things we were lacking in the first half," he said.

It was likely Lincoln's best half of the season, though Kolasa said he isn't so sure.

"We've had some good halves, but we've had a hard time getting two of them together," Kolasa said.

Lincoln (4-10, 1-2 district) gave up a good deal of ground in the fourth quarter, when the Patriots scored only one point and allowed Casey (5-7, 2-1) to trim what had been a 25-point lead to single digits.

Casey got off only five shots in the second quarter and five in the third against Lincoln's zone defense. At the end of the third period, Lincoln had 41 field-goal attempts and Casey had only 19.

"We've been working on our (zone defenses), but we've never really pinpointed how we wanted to do it," Jones said. "We wanted to do it our way instead of the way we've been taught. Tonight we did it the way we're supposed to do it."

Jones scored 10 points and Gwen Hardwick eight in the second quarter as Lincoln pushed its lead to 30-14. Lincoln then held Casey scoreless for almost five minutes in the third quarter as it expanded its lead to 42-17.

Jones was 7-for-8 from the field in the first half, when she scored all of her points.

"I had a lot of people feeding the ball to me," she said. "I had a lot of good looks because people were driving and kicking the ball to me."

Jones scored some of her points on her seven offensive rebounds, and the Patriots had 19 offensive boards in all as they outrebounded Casey 33-23.

Casey got one of its inside players back when senior center Meagan Murphy played for the first time this season. Murphy, who suffered a knee injury last summer, returned a couple of weeks ahead of schedule and had four points, four rebounds and one assist in almost 18 minutes.

"It feels really good," Murphy said. "Words can't describe the feeling. And I've not had any pain."

But another Casey player, Tabitha Yaden, left the floor after injuring her right knee less than four minutes into the game. Salyers said it was too early to tell how serious Yaden's injury is.

It clearly hurt Casey on offense, as the Rebels had 27 turnovers. They shot 44.8 percent (13-for-29) from the field but had 16 fewer attempts than Lincoln, which shot 37.7 percent (17-for-45).

CASEY (5-7) - Beth Patterson 9, Lindsey Hoskins 5, Lindsay Wilson 6, Tiffany Roy 3, Ellen Hogue 1, Tara Weddle 5, Lauren Hatter 4, Meagan Murphy 4.

LINCOLN (4-10) - Jenny Jones 17, Kendra Garris 3, Jenny Ralston 3, Megan Pitts 3, Jamie Duncan 8, Gwen Hardwick 12.

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