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HAMLIN — The Lincoln County Panthers took the hardwood for the first time of the season on Friday night inside the Panther Pavilion and they fared well coming away with a convincing 66-46 win over Buffalo.

The game was the much-awaited season opener for head coach Rodney Plumley and his squad as their regularly scheduled season opener on Dec. 10 against Mingo Central as well as a game on Dec. 14 against Buffalo were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

In the win over the Bison on Friday night, the Panthers played well from the opening tip despite the varsity players having returned to practice just two days prior.

The first quarter was back-and-fourth as the two teams traded buckets and Lincoln County led 21-18 head into the second. In that second frame, the Panthers were able to put some distance between them and the Bison as they outscored the visitors 20-11 in the period to take a 41-29 lead into the second half.

In the second half of action the Panthers kept the foot on the gas, especially on the defensive end, as they limited the Bison to only 11 points in the third and six points in the fourth quarter as they secured the 20 point win.

Sophomore point guard Cam Blevins had a career night for Lincoln County as he scored a game high 24 points in the win, including six made three-pointers.

Center Brady Slone was next on the score-sheet as he totaled 13 points, nine coming in the first quarter, while Sawyer Tomblin followed with 12 and senior Jackson Sanders joined them in double-figures with 11.

Austin Adkins added six points to round out the scoring for the victors.

For Buffalo, Caleb Nutter led the way with 12 points while Ian Thompson, Bradley Harris, and Evan Smalley each scored eight.

The loss for the Bison see them fall to 0-3 on the season while the win for Lincoln County improves them to 1-0.

LCHS is set to play a pair of games this week as they will make the trek to Sissonville on Tuesday night before returning home to host Pt. Pleasant on Thursday.

Score by Quarters

BHS (0-3): 18 11 11 6 — 46

LCHS (1-0): 21 20 19 6 — 66


B: Nutter 12, Thompson 8, Harris 8, Smalley 8, Landers 5, McCade 3, Pitchford 2

LC: Blevins 24, Slone 13, Tomblin 12, Sanders 11, A. Adkins 6, Chojnacki 0, Miller 0.

HD Media reporter Jarrid McCormick covers sports in Mingo County.

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