Vaporized early lead
Lincoln (6-4) vaporized St. Henry's early lead by holding the Crusaders to only three points in the second quarter, when they went 1 for 6 from the field with seven turnovers.
St. Henry (6-3) had gone 5 for 9 in the first quarter, but it was just 7 for 23 over the final three periods to finish at 38.7 percent.
"We just got after them in our 2-3 zone and our ... full-court (press)," guard Jessica Upchurch said. "We just got after them and went after loose balls."
Story said he had never seen St. Henry play and therefore wasn't sure what Lincoln's best defense would be at the start of the game.
"We felt like after we saw them play that we could get after them, and we played pretty hard for a couple of quarters there," the Lincoln coach said.
Kendra Brown scored 12 points to lead Lincoln, which will play Tates Creek today in the quarterfinals of Mercer's 16-team tournament.
The Patriots went 1-2 last week in Lexington Catholic's tournament, where they were without either Brown or guard Nikki Bustle — or both — in every game.
"Having everyone back, it's bringing us back to a good start," Upchurch said.
Lincoln started slowly in the face of St. Henry's defense, falling behind 10-4 in the first 5 1/2 minutes as they settled for outside shots that weren't falling.
The Patriots missed their first seven shots from 3-point range before Emily Fox sank one with 1:42 left in the first quarter. Beginning with Fox's 3, they went 5 for 12 from long range over the balance of the game.
Shot selection a little better
"And I think our shot selection got a little bit better," Story said.
Lincoln scored the first eight points of the second quarter to take a 19-14 lead that grew to 28-17 early in the third period before St. Henry stopped the bleeding.
The Crusaders pulled to within four points before a 13-1 run that included four points each by Brown and Upchurch gave the Patriots a 44-28 lead with 6:39 remaining.
Sydney Harris scored nine points and Upchurch had eight for Lincoln, which shot 44.7 percent from the field. Harris had a team-high five rebounds, followed by Brown, Upchurch and Korey Coleman with four each.
Story said the Patriots will face another tough test today from Tates Creek, which defeated Bullitt Central 61-44 in Monday's opening game, and he said every game will probably be tough in a tournament that includes some of the state's best teams.
"The final four from this tournament could be incredible," he said.
Titan Christmas Clash At Mercer County
ST. HENRY (6-3) — Stephanie Haskem 1, Abby Janszen 10, Jessica Knaley 5, Taylor Gamm 8, Carly McArtor 2, Shannon O'Daniel 10.
LINCOLN (6-4) — Kendra Brown 12, Jessica Upchurch 8, Emily Fox 6, Shelby Smith 2, Nikki Bustle 5, Sydney Harris 9, Korey Coleman 6.St. Henry14172836Lincoln County11263948