Lincoln County High School’s Falcons kicked off their New Year with an impressive 69-64 win on the road over Lawrence County Friday night.
In last year’s regular season district championship, the Wildcats were the only team to defeat the Falcons.
Overall, Lincoln County is now 11-5. In District 8-AAA standings, the Falcons and Tullahoma are 2-0. Lawrence County and Columbia are 1-1, while Shelbyville and Franklin County are 0-2.
“I have to say it felt good to walk off the court after that game with a win,” Coach Chad Tipps said. “I felt going into it we matched up better defensively this year. But, they (Lawrence County) make so few mistakes and they make you pay for the ones you have you never know how it’s going to go.
“It was a big win for us, but we’re into our district games now, and every game is a big game – the most important now is Franklin County. We’ve got to take it one game at a time.” he added.
“Our district is balanced, and an off night proves to be costly.
“We’ve got to continue to improve our focus,” Coach Tipps added. “There are stretches we’re getting caught up in the excitement of the game and forget where we are and what our individual jobs are. It’s a lack of game experience that can only get better with actual game time – it’s tough to reproduce that intensity in practice.
“Against Lawrence County, we shot the ball well but didn’t box out and rebound the way we should have. Despite the win, we gave up too many second chance points.”
Friday against the Wildcats, B.J. Thompson and Tradarius Christian had the better games of their careers. Thompson poured in 32 points and pulled 11 rebounds, going 12 of 15 from the line. Christian added 21 points, going 3 of 5 from the arch and 6 of 6 from the line.
Until the final seconds of the game, the duo were the only Falcons to make a trip to the line.
Christian hit two from the arch in the first quarter, and the Falcons were up 14-11.
Christian’s, along with Thompson’s run, continued in the second frame with both players adding 11 points. At one point in the period, Lincoln County was up 34-18. The Falcons won the quarter, 25-20, and were up 39-31 at the break.
In the third, the Wildcats got hot from the floor. Peyton Sockwell hit three from the arch. Lawrence County won the period, 16-10. The Falcons were up, 49-47, at the end of three.
The game remained exciting down to the wire. With 26 ticks on the clock, Lincoln County was up 66-64. With 23 seconds, B.J. Thompson went to the line and dropped both shots. The Falcons held the Wildcats their following possession. With less that two seconds remaining, Thompson hit one of two from the line to finish with the win, 69-64.
Behind Thompson’s 32 points and Christian’s 21, Xavier Talley-Hyde followed with 6; Tyler Jones and Justin Blackwell had 4; and Ty Lewter scored 2.
The Falcons were 18 of 31 from the paint and 5 of 13 from the arch. From the line, Lincoln County was 18 of 22.
The Wildcats won the boards, 33-28. The Falcons picked up 20 points off 17 Wildcat turnovers, while giving up 18 off 18 miscues.
For their next action, Lincoln County will travel to Franklin County on Tuesday, then on to Tullahoma on Friday. Game times are at 6 p.m.