STANFORD — When Lincoln County turned up the heat, Boyle County wilted.
The Lincoln boys used high energy and pressure defense to fuel a rally that carried them to victory Monday night in the final chapter of one of the most intense rivalries around.
The host Patriots outscored the Rebels 22-5 in the 4:39 Final to win 49-41 and earn a regular-season series split among teams that played for the district and regional championships last season.
“I’m really proud of our kids for hitting back and scratching and clawing,” Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said. “We did a lot of good things, and it’s a very, very good win.”
Perhaps the best thing Lincoln (21-6, 6-1 45th District) did was apply a full-court press that took Boyle (16-6, 5-1) off his offense.
The press became a necessity after Boyle took his biggest lead at 36-27 with 4:53 to play, and it quickly became a problem for the Rebels.
“They turned up the pressure and they started pressuring us and hurting us, and we just didn’t handle it,” Boyle coach Dennie Webb said. “We let them pull us out of what we were trying to do, and until we (can prevent that) that’s what the teams are going to do to us.”
Lincoln scored eight straight points in 1:03 to cut its deficit to two, used a 6-0 surge to take its first lead since the start of the second quarter and scored the game’s final nine points after Boyle returned ahead to win. a game that had been postponed three days earlier due to a winter storm.
“We’ve been thinking about it all week,” Lincoln guard Tramane Alcorn said.
Boyle turned the ball over 10 times in the second half, and half a dozen of those turnovers came in the final 4 1/2 minutes.
“We defended really well, we took shots, we rebounded, we lost basketballs,” Jackson said.
The result was a fourth straight win for Lincoln, which is 8-1 since a 43-40 loss at Boyle on Jan. 14, and a tie in the loss column at the top of the district standings.
“Revenge,” Alcorn said. “We needed this one.”
It was Boyle’s fourth loss in five games, all close games and all games in which the Rebels were ahead. And that’s a serious concern for Webb with the playoffs less than two weeks away.
“We’ve done it in all four losses: we take a lead and get exactly where we want to be and fold,” Webb said. “We have to find the answer and we have to find it quickly.”
“Hats off to Lincoln. We had a lead and they fought and gave up and took it back and took the win.
Alcorn and Evan Smith scored 11 points each and Colton Ralston added 10 for Lincoln, who was 9 for 18 from the field in the second half and shot 40 percent overall.
Smith, who transferred to Lincoln last year from Southwestern, also led the defensive effort to contain Boyle’s Luke Imfeld, who scored 25 points and had a game-winning 3-point shot with four seconds left in the game. first team meeting. Imfeld was held to two field goals and 12 points – well below his average of 22.8 – in the rematch.
“Evan had his best game since he’s been with us this year at both ends of the court,” Jackson said. “Clayton Smith comes in (off the bench) and brings energy and plays hard…and he got us going.
“I thought they all played hard. We fought, and you have to fight with these guys.
Lincoln’s only lead was at 12-11 before the Alcorn jumper gave the Patriots a 40-39 lead with 2:04 to play.
Imfeld sank a 3 about a minute later to put Boyle back on top, but Ralston responded with a 3 that drew a huge roar from the home crowd and gave Lincoln the lead for good at 43-41 with 50 seconds left. to play.
“Our bench and those fans (energized us),” Alcorn said. “These fans are crazy.”
The Rebels missed a free throw in front of the bonus and turned the ball over twice in the remaining time, and Smith and Ralston hit two free throws apiece for the Patriots before Smith punctuated the win with a layup on a breakaway just before the buzzer that sent Lincoln students onto the field in celebration.
Lincoln, who beat Boyle for the 45th District title last season, and Boyle, who avenged that loss with a victory in the 12th District final, had shared 12 games over the past five seasons before the Patriots left. win this one in front of a noisy crowd. The last seven games of the series have been decided by 10 points or less.
“It’s a great rivalry. We tell our kids this is one of the biggest rivalries in the state of Kentucky,” Jackson said. “The crowd is really good, the students from both schools are really good, and I think there’s a lot of respect between the coaching staff and the players.”
William Carr scored a game-high 18 points and Jakei Tarter had 14 rebounds for Boyle, who shot 30% from the field.
Lincoln County 37
Boyle County 20
Lincoln (8-17, 2-5 45th District) continued his recent streak of good defenses and found just enough offense to get away from Boyle (10-12, 1-5) and end a streak of six straight losses.
The Lady Patriots held the Lady Rebels to their lowest point total in three seasons, limiting them to just five field goals and 16 percent shooting from the field.
Lincoln kept Boyle’s leading scorer and almost everyone else off the board a secret to complete a regular-season sweep. Boyle’s Peyton Bugg, who averages 14 points per game, was limited to just one field goal and scored eight points.
“We did a good job of keeping Bugg ahead of us, and that was the main key,” Lincoln coach James Jackson said. “If you let them break you, get into the cracks and the seams, they’re hard to beat.”
Only one other player scored for Boyle, who was 5 of 32 overall from the field and 2 of 16 from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, Lincoln went 9 for 20 from the field in the second half after going 4 for 15 in the first half.
“We needed it,” Jackson said. “We’ve had some great defensive nights the last three or four games. … We just needed to see the ball go through the hoop, and hopefully that will continue.
That’s just a lot of shots every day, and we will continue to do so.
The Lady Patriots, who beat the Lady Rebels 34-31 on Jan. 14, scored 11 straight points over a 3:39 span in the third quarter to take a 27-14 lead. Emily Estes scored seven points in the third quarter and led Lincoln with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Elly Sims hit two 3-pointers and Macey Rice had one in the fourth quarter to help Lincoln hold the lead, while Boyle went 0-for-6 from the field in the final period.
Ella Coffey scored a game-high 12 points and seven rebounds for Boyle.
Boyle County 9 21 27 41
Lincoln County 9 17 27 49
BOY (16-6) — Jakei Tarter 2, Luke Imfeld 12, William Carr 18, Cruise Wilson 4, Kason Myers 5.
LINCOLN (21-6) — Tramane Alcorn 11, Jackson Sims 5, Jaxon Smith 9, Evan Smith 11, Colton Ralston 10, Clayton Davis 3.
Boyle County 5 10 16 20
Lincoln County 6 12 27 37
BOY (10-12) —Payton Bugg 8, Ella Coffey 12.
LINCOLN (9-16) — Chloe Ralston 3, Taylen Ralston 3, Alexia Baldock 7, Ally Lynn 5, Emily Estes 11, Elly Sims 6, Macey Rice 3.