The rebuilding of the Boyle County Boys will continue for a few more weeks, but there was a moment Friday when the Rebels were able to stop to admire their work.
That moment came shortly after Luke Imfeld’s long 3-point shot crossed the net with four seconds left, handing Boyle a 43-40 victory over Lincoln County in the first meeting of the season between teams that played for the 12th Region Championship last season. .
The Rebels said their victory from behind was a good indication of how things were going as they tried to put themselves in a position to repeat as regional champions.
“We had guys that would step in and make plays when we needed them, and the best thing about that is we haven’t even reached our full potential yet,” Imfeld said.
Host Boyle rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit to win the first round in the battle between two of the top-three ranked teams in the 12th region.
The Rebels are a different team than the one that went to the Boys Sweet 16 last year, and coach Dennie Webb said they still have a lot of work to do to prepare for the playoffs. But he said this win shows what they could be capable of.
“We’re still a work in progress, but we’re moving forward,” Webb said.
Imfeld scored a game-high 25 points and had the game’s two biggest shots. He buried a long 3-point shot to give Boyle (13-2, 3-0 45th District) its first lead at 40-38 with 54 seconds left, and he sank a slightly shorter shot to break a tie of 40.
He scored 20 points in the second half, when he went 8 of 13 total from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
Ten of those points went unanswered in just over 90 seconds in the third quarter as he hit two 3s and two baskets in transition to help the Rebels recover from a 27-17 deficit early in the game. second half to tie the match at 27. -everything.
“We needed points, we had to get back to the lead,” said Imfeld. “The coach trusted me with the ball, so I just made the plays.”
Webb said he was convinced Imfeld was the best player in the region and obviously had a hot hand in the second half, and he said the other players’ contributions reflected the selflessness the team has shown. demonstrated all season.
“Luke is our scorer and everyone knows that…but the other guys are doing a lot of great things, and that’s what I’m proud of,” he said. “They don’t care who turns 25, they’re going to do what I ask them to do to help us win.
“That’s what we had tonight: we had guys defending, we had guys rebounding, we had guys getting the ball back where it was supposed to go.”
After Lincoln’s Tramane Alcorn tied the game at 40-all with a lay-up at :33, Imfeld dribbled past most of the remaining time before firing the game-winning shot from the “R” in the “Rebels” logo, at at minus 3 feet behind the 3-point line and over Alcorn’s outstretched arm.
Jaxon Smith made a rushing 3-point shot for Lincoln (14-5, 1-1) before the last buzzer missed the target, giving the Rebels their fourth victory in their last five games against the Patriots.
Lincoln shot 61% from the field in the first half to take a 25-15 locker room lead.
“There was no shouting and shouting at halftime,” Webb said. “I thought we played pretty good defense and they did some hands-in-the-face shots, and hats off to a kid who can do that.
“The biggest discussion we had was about the rebound. At halftime, the focus was on the glass, and they did.
Boyle outshot Lincoln 15-5 in the second half to finish with a 22-17 board advantage, led by Imfeld with seven boards and Jakei Tarter with six.
The Rebels also shot 58% in the second half after shooting 35% in the first, while the Patriots shot 36% in the second.
“I think we just tracked them better,” Imfeld said. “Lincoln County is always shooting lights here. The second half we really dug in, right after the ball, put pressure on it and locked it.
Alcorn scored 13 points to lead Lincoln (14-5, 1-1), who bounced back 24 hours later to defeat Mercer County 69-35 on Saturday.
Hagan Webb had 10 points for Boyle, who extended his winning streak to five games with a 59-54 victory over Madison Southern on Saturday.
The Rebels and Patriots meet Feb. 4 at Stanford and maybe once or twice more in the playoffs.
“I hate preparing for them, but I love playing against them. It’s so much fun because they do so many things right,” Dennie Webb said. “They’ll be ready for the next game. aerial, and I hope we can compete again.
For at least three weeks, the bragging rights belong to Boyle.
“That means we’re still here, we’re defending champions,” Imfeld said. ” But there’s still a lot to do. We’ll probably see them two, maybe three more times this season, but it’s a really good stepping stone to get us going.
“All due respect to Lincoln County. They will come back even more excited.
Lincoln County 34, Boyle County 31
Chloe Ralston scored and tied with three seconds left, and her three-point play was the difference as Lincoln (8-10, 1-1) held off Boyle (7-9, 0-3).
Ralston scored 14 points for the Lady Patriots, who trailed for most of the game before getting past the Lady Rebels in the fourth quarter.
Lincoln’s Taylen Ralston tied the game at 31 points with a 3-point field goal with 1:18 left. The Lady Patriots regained possession with 44 seconds left after a miss by Boyle and used three timeouts before Chloe Ralston reached the basket for the game-winning shot.
Lincoln survived a scoreless second quarter in which he attempted just five shots and led 15-8 at halftime.
Boyle’s lead grew to 24-11 in the third quarter, but Chloe Ralston had straight 3s – one of which led to a four-point game – to close the margin to six points.
The Lady Patriots scored 10 unanswered points while holding the Lady Rebels scoreless for 6:47, and they took their first lead since the first quarter at 28-27 on Alexia Baldock’s layup with 3:20. to play.
Lincoln shot 46% from the field but only managed 24 attempts and posted his lowest score of the season. Boyle had more attempts (36) but shot 31%.
Payton Bugg scored 16 points to lead Boyle, who had just six turnovers.
Taylen Ralston had nine points for Lincoln, which went 0-3 against Boyle last season.
Lincoln County 15 25 35 40
Boyle County 13 24 40 51
LINCOLN (13-5) — Tramane Alcorn 13, Jaxon Smith 5, Evan Smith 7, Colton Ralston 4, Will Bishop 2, Jackson Sims 5, Clayton Davis 4.
BOY (12-2) — Jakei Tarter 4, Luke Imfeld 25, Hagan Webb 10, Cruise Wilson 2, Kason Myers 2.
Lincoln County 8 8 21 34
Boyle County 8 15 27 31
LINCOLN (8-10) — Chloe Ralston 14, Alexia Baldock 7, Taylen Ralston 9, Emily Estes 4.
BOY (7-9) — Annabelle Tarter 5, Payton Bugg 16, Harper Coffey 2, Zoey Robbins 3, Ella Coffey 5.