HAMLIN — Coach Randy Adkins said that his Lincoln County Lady Panthers have played better games but he was happy for the win on Monday.
“We’ve definitely performed better but Scott played well,” he said.
No. 4 seed Lincoln County saw the No. 5 seed Skyhawks carve into a 20-point lead and the home team held on for a 61-48 win to advance in Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 play to face No. 1 seed Logan on April 14.
The game belonged to Scott (3-13) early as they scored the first five points of the game and had built a 19-9 advantage before Lincoln County went on a 22-7 run in the second to seize a 31-23 advantage at the break.
Gracie Ferrell did the hard work in the paint for Scott, picking up loose balls and attacking the basket from 12-feet in. She laced in a reverse layup in the second after a dribble-drive from the foul line.
“She played really well for us,” said Scott Coach Kevin Harper. “She’s been so consistent for us all season.”
Guard Jenna Butcher energized Scott early with a scoop of a loose ball and a quick flip to Shea Miller for a bucket early in the second.
Coach Adkins said that it was a timeout that he called with Scott up by 10 that was a crucial moment.
“You call a timeout to try to stall a run that the other team is on but for us we had to run an offense. We have a tendency to just freelance and when we do that, we aren’t at our very best. We’ve got to score in transition and we need a contested shot and a rebound.”
For Lincoln County (11-4), they got four points each in the second frame from Kiaura Henderson, Allee Albright, Kenley Kveton and Gracie Clay. Natalie Fout buried a trey in the decisive frame for the Lady Panthers.
In the third, Lincoln County outscored Scott 20-11.
Coach Adkins said wing-player Kveton has found her stride.
“She’s really been playing well on both ends (of the court),” he said. “I think Kenley has been a strong rebounder but the last four games her game has really come together at a good time for us.”
Scott flexed in the final frame, outscoring the Lady Panthers 13-10. The Lady Hawks attempted 23 foul shots in the fourth quarter — making only nine.
“We’ve been a pretty good foul-shooting team but we didn’t shoot well there,” added Coach Harper. “We ran out of gas late in the game and we came out and jumped on them early but couldn’t sustain it. The 22-4 run they had at the end of the first half was tough to come back from. That was the difference breaker in the game. They were beating us down the floor.”
Harper said that his squad made strides this season when you look beyond their record.
“f you look at our record from the outside looking in you’ll think we’re not a good team but we played a tough schedule and we were in most of our games and I’m proud of our girls for the strides we made and the strides our program has made that we can build on thanks to them,” he said. “Our section is one of the toughest in the state. We’ll work in the off-season and keep building.”
Coach Adkins said that Logan — a team LCHS split with in the regular season will be a challenging prospect in the historic Logan Memorial Fieldhouse but his squad is up for that challenge on April 14.
“For us, we’ve got to find a way to keep (Peyton) Ilderton from killing us with the drives to the basket the way she does every time we play her and then (Jill) To the is such a good perimeter player. We’re looking forward to this game. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Lincoln County scoring — Lucas 14, Kveton 14, Fout 11, Henderson 8, Clay 6, Allbright4, Peters 11
Scott scoring — Ferrell 15, Miller 8, Butcher 8, Crawford 9, Davis 5, Tomblin 4, Burns 2
LIN CO. — 9 22 20 10 — 61
SCOTT — 16 7 11 13 — 48