Boyle boys come to life to hand Lincoln first regional loss
Published 10:43 am Tuesday, February 7, 2023
By MIKE MARSEE
Just when the Boyle County boys needed something good to happen, along came Lincoln County.
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The arrival of one of the Rebels’ biggest rivals Friday night might have given them just the kick in the pants they needed to snap out of a funk that has left them floating just below .500 for much of the season.
Well, that and a couple of tough practices.
Boyle responded to two days’ worth of challenges from its coaching staff with a 54-46 victory over Lincoln that snapped the Rebels’ latest losing streak and dealt the Patriots their first loss to a 12th Region team this season.
“We needed that one really bad,” Boyle coach Dennie Webb said. “We coached them pretty hard the last two days in practice, and they responded. … They did what we asked them to do to the best they could.”
Montavin Quisenberry scored 16 points and Jakei Tarter had 15 points and 16 rebounds for Boyle (10-12, 4-2 45th District), which had lost three in a row for the third time this season before outplaying the region’s top team.
“It can really give us a lot of momentum and maybe keep us on the right track,” Tarter said. “We had a really good last two days of practice, and we definitely got a lot more intensity in our practices.”
Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said the intensity was missing from Lincoln (18-6, 6-1), which had won 12 consecutive games and which was 12-0 within the region, including a 54-48 decision over Boyle on Jan. 13 in Stanford.
“They outworked us,” Jackson said. “I think they wanted to win tonight more than we did … and they deserved to win.”
Boyle led throughout the final three periods, opening a 34-19 advantage early in the second half and fending off Lincoln after the Patriots pulled within 36-33 early in the fourth quarter.
The damage was likely done in the second quarter, when Lincoln went 0 for 6 from the field and Boyle turned three of the Patriots’ five turnovers into layups.
Quisenberry and Kason Myers combined for all nine of the Rebels’ second-quarter points as Boyle took a 28-19 halftime lead.
Consecutive baskets by Tarter gave Boyle its largest lead at 34-19 before Lincoln ended a drought of about 11 minutes without a field goal.
“Our shot selection in the first half was quick,” Jackson said. “We took quick shots and contested shots, and not very good shots.”
Lincoln went 1 for 11 in the first half and 3 for 18 overall from 3-point range.
“We talked about not giving them any easy shots, contesting everything,” Webb said.
The Patriots shot 35 percent from the field, while the Rebels shot 45 percent and outrebounded Lincoln 34-26.
Jackson Sims led Lincoln with 12 points, while Tramane Alcorn and Connor Davis had 11 each and Colton Ralston had 10.
Myers had 10 points for Boyle,
Tarter said the Rebels heard from former player Josiah Robbins, one of nine people inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame Friday, before the game about the Boyle-Lincoln rivalry.
“He came in there and got us riled up,” Tarter said.
“That’s what we’ve been missing is a little bit of fire,” Webb said. “They were into it, they were locked in. If we can match the effort and intensity with better decision-making, we’ll get there.”
Boyle, the only team with a mathematical chance to take the No. 1 seed for the district tournament from Lincoln, has another big district game Tuesday at Danville.
“We’ve got to build on it … and hopefully they will,” Webb said.
Boyle County 45, Lincoln County 39
It was the best sign yet that the Boyle girls are headed in the right direction, and it didn’t matter to coach Ryan Wiersma that it was a little messy.
The Lady Rebels fought off a furious rally to complete a sweep of the regular-season series and assure themselves of being seeded no lower than third in the district tournament, thus avoiding the tourney’s lone first-round game.
Boyle (13-11, 4-2) led by 20 points in the third quarter before Lincoln (10-13, 2-5) cut the margin to two with 1:45 to play.
“It doesn’t matter how you do it. All that matters is you put the ‘W’ in that column,” Wiersma said. “It was a great game overall and the way we found a way down the stretch.”
Lincoln didn’t score again after pulling within 41-39 on a steal and layup by Chloe Ralston at 1:45 on the last of six fourth-quarter turnovers by Boyle.
Ella Coffey, one of two seniors recognized in the team’s first senior night ceremony in two years, hit two free throws with 19 seconds left. The other, Zoey Robbins, clinched the win with a steal and layup at :06.
“It was nerve-wracking, but I think that we really went down to detail and decided we were going to take care of the ball and have value for it,” Robbins said.
Annabelle Tarter hit four 3-point shots and led Boyle with 14 points. Coffey had 12 points and Payton Bugg added 10.
The Lady Rebels led 19-3 midway through the first quarter and went up 32-12 after scoring the first 10 points of the second half.
“We were just aggressive, and we didn’t foul,” Robbins said. “We didn’t pick up the little small (fouls) and we really stayed together and communicated well.”
Boyle started the season 2-8 but has won 11 of its last 14 games, including four in a row.
“It’s been great to see our growth. We’ve really figured out our rotations and we’ve had different people step up every night,” Wiersma said.
Macey Rice scored 11 points and Emily Estes added 10 for Lincoln, which outscored Boyle 15-3 in the first 6:15 of the fourth quarter.