LCA's defense stops Lincoln girls

December 31, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

The Lincoln County girls kicked off the Stuart Powell City of Firsts Classic by getting kicked around.

The Patriots paid for their inability to shoot well - or even to get off good shots - with a 49-30 loss to Lexington Christian Thursday in the opening game of the three-day event.

They wilted in the face of LCA's aggressive defense, shooting just 26 percent from the field and committing 23 turnovers.

"Their defense is solid," Lincoln coach John Kolasa said. "We struggled getting shots, but then when we got one we rushed. We didn't really shoot the ball at all."

For all practical purposes, Lincoln (5-6) was out of it by halftime. The Patriots went without a basket in the second quarter, going 0-for-8 from the field as LCA (8-2) pulled away to a 29-9 halftime lead.


They had been off for eight days since wrapping up a 3-1 run in the Berea Holiday Classic, but Kolasa refused to blame his team's performance on the layoff.

"They had the same holiday as we did," he said. "We just didn't play very well, and they had a lot to do with that."

Lincoln struggled with its offense from the start, as perimeter players looked to the wings or the lane for shots that never materialized. Many of its possessions ended in turnovers - there were seven in the first quarter alone - or held-ball calls.

"We turned the ball over way too many times to be able to compete," Kolasa said.

Patriots 2-for-14 from 3-point range

When the Patriots did put the ball up, it was often too quickly or from too far away. They went just 2-for-14 from 3-point range, including 0-for-6 during the decisive second quarter.

"We've been shooting pretty decent," Kolasa said. "We've been shooting 3s, but we died by it a little bit today."

Lincoln also was beaten on the boards, where LCA held a 29-20 advantage.

"They're just bigger and stronger," Kolasa said.

Lincoln got one chance to take the lead from LCA late in the first quarter, but Kendra Garris missed two free throws to leave the Eagles on top 8-7.

LCA then ran off 13 unanswered points, including seven by Emily London, as the Patriots went scoreless 6 minutes, 48 seconds.

They were without a field goal for 11:35 between the three-point play by Jenny Ralston that made it 8-7 and a layup by Jessica Ryan 64 seconds into the second half.

LCA, which returned all five starters from a team that went 15-13 last year, took its largest lead at 47-22 with 3:22 remaining thanks to a 6-0 run. Lincoln closed the gap in the closing minutes, when LCA committed many of the 13 fourth-quarter turnovers that raised its game total to 23.

Kendra Garris led Lincoln with 10 points, but all four of her baskets - all of which were layups - came in the final 3:10. She also had a team-high six rebounds.

Ralston added eight points and Megan Pitts had seven points and three steals for the Patriots.

Lincoln was 11-for-42 from the field after a 3-for-18 first half, while LCA was 21-for-40 (53 percent).

Kirby Barnhart led LCA with 15 points and six rebounds.

Fern Creek 43, Harrodsburg 30 - Harrodsburg (2-5) managed only eight field goals in a loss to Fern Creek (7-1).

The Pioneers had only three baskets in the first half and trailed 20-12 at halftime. A number of their misses came from close range, and coach Scott Bugg said they missed eight layups.

"We have done so much shooting and ball-handling this week (in practice)," Bugg said. "We've done nothing but fundamentals, and it's just frustrating to see us not come out and do the little things we've been working on.

"Our girls are so worried about making a mistake, they play afraid, and that's really what happened to us tonight. We'll get better; we just have to learn how to win."

Tiffany Smith led Harrodsburg with 12 points, nine of them in the second half. She was 6-for-8 at the free-throw line, where the Pioneers were 12-for-17.

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