45th District basketball: DCA girls beat Lincoln 60-31

Published 5:17 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

LANCASTER – Even their coach was in awe.

The Danville Christian girls played with purpose and precision in the first half of their postseason opener Tuesday night, scoring 28 unanswered points at the start of a 60-31 romp over Lincoln County in a 45th District Tournament semifinal at Garrard Middle School.

It was a performance so impressive, so complete that there was little coach Billy Inmon could say to his team at halftime.

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“My halftime speech was just one word: Wow! And that’s all I said,” DCA coach Billy Inmon said.

DCA (25-2) had already clinched its third consecutive berth in the district final and its third straight trip to the 12th Region Tournament by halftime, when it led 48-7.

The top-seeded Lady Warriors will try to win their first district championship Friday night when they face Danville, which had beaten them in the last two title games.

Amauri Blackford had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead DCA, and Paisley Metz hit five 3-point goals and scored 19 points.

Leading scorer and rebounder Grace Mbugua didn’t score until the second quarter while others carried the load, but she finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Lady Warriors hit six of 11 3-point shots – including three by Metz and two by Blackford – in their opening run before Lincoln (14-16) got on the board 74 seconds into the second quarter with a basket by MaKayla Greer.

“It’s almost impossible to defend them when they’re hitting like that,” Lincoln coach Caitlin Hall Parson said.

They went 19 for 34 from the field, outrebounded Lincoln 19-6 and forced 13 turnovers while committing only one in the first half.

Inmon said their shooting was impressive, but he was more impressed by their ball movement.

“I think one of the reasons why we shot it so well is because they kept working the ball and getting good shots,” he said.

Lincoln got only 13 shots in the first half and made only three, though the Lady Patriots shot 50 percent in the second half.

“I think they started going out there and trying to attack more and just moving more,” Parson said.

Greer scored 13 points and Gatlynn Lewis had 10 for fourth-seeded Lincoln, which closed its first regular season under Parson with wins in its last three games and beat Garrard County 50-48 in a first-round game Monday.

“I feel like their confidence grew from the younger ones to the older ones, and I think that’s a big key to everything you do,” Parson said. “You’ve got to have confidence in yourself and your team, so I hope to continue to help the younger ones grow and get confidence.”