Lincoln reaches Girls Sweet Sixteen semifinals
Lincoln County became the fourth consecutive 12th Region team and the second Advocate-area team in four years to reach the Girls Sweet Sixteen semifinals with a 72-59 victory over Magoffin County in a quarterfinal Friday night in Bowling Green.
The Lady Patriots will play Marion County, which was ranked No. 1 or 2 in the state all season long, at 12:30 p.m. today, and the winner will play the winner of an earlier game between Paul Dunbar and duPont Manual for the championship at 9 p.m. (Click here for the box score and here for the play-by-play from Friday’s game.)
Emily Fox led Lincoln with 23 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Sydney Harris had 12 points and nine rebounds, Ciara Saylor had 11 points and Rachel Spangler had four assists for the Lady Patriots, who shot better than 50 percent from the field for the second straight night. Eighth-grader Jasmine Howard had 21 points and Jamie Castle had 18 for Magoffin.
Lincoln led by just three points with 4:38 remaining before reeling off nine unanswered points, including seven by Fox, in just 56 seconds to take a 58-46 lead that Magoffin could not overcome.
Marion advanced with a 67-30 trouncing of Hopkinsville in its quarterfinal earlier Friday night. The Lady Knights are all that and more, with three major-college prospects, 15 consecutive wins and losses to only Manual, which has jockeyed with Marion for the top spot in state rankings all season, one team from Cincinnati and two from California. And the Lady Patriots know that as well as anyone, having taken a 63-35 thumping from Marion on Dec. 28 in the quarterfinals of Mercer County’s Christmas tournament.
Lincoln joins the 2009 Casey County team and the 2010 and ’11 Rockcastle County teams in representing the 12th Region in the semifinals. Prior to 2009, no Advocate-area girls team had ever reached the
quarterfinals semifinals, and no local girls or boys team had won even a single game at a state tournament since 1996.
Today’s game will be broadcast locally on WPBK-FM (102.9) by Tim Estes and Kevin Bandura and can be heard online through the station’s website, wpbkfm.com, with coverage beginning at noon. Video coverage of all games by iHigh.com is available online here.
Links to rosters, statistics, live statistics during games and postgame box scores can be found on this KHSAA page.
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Lincoln and its fans did their part to show their support for the many people affected by last week’s tornado in Magoffin County by collecting donations for the victims in the stands at E.A. Diddle Arena before the game. With the help of fans from Marion County, they raised $2,000, which was presented to Magoffin principal Tony Skaggs at halftime.
We are not always at our best, but it’s nice to know that we usually are when our neighbor is in need — and that it makes no difference that it’s a neighbor we’ve never even met. This impromptu fundraiser, which was conceived by the Lincoln players, was a tremendous gesture by the Lady Patriots and their fans, one of countless kindnesses that have been extended to storm-affected Kentuckians in need over the past week and one more example of the things high school sports can do for those who play — and follow — them.