West Lincoln pounds Flashes in second half

Published 12:03 am Sunday, January 9, 2011

With aspirations of a trip to the Mississippi Coliseum and the Class 1A Tournament, West Lincoln came to Vicksburg unbeaten and ranked third in Class 1A.

St. Aloysius had aspirations as well. They wanted to slow the high-flying Bears. A flurry of missed shots, from long- and short-range, doomed the effort.

West Lincoln (16-0, 2-0 Division 7-1A) went on a decisive 9-0 run to close the first half and turned a close game, turned into a 79-34 rout on Saturday.

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Flashes coach Richard Hodges said his team had a good plan, but had to make shots. St. Al (4-12, 2-2) made just 13 of 61 shots (21 percent) for the game. West Lincoln was just under 50 percent, at 28-of-59.

St Al’s offense came from Sean Johnson, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Matt Wooten had four points and nine rebounds before fouling out, while Ford Biedenharn had seven steals but did not make a single field goal and ended with just two points.

“All those shots big Matt had right in front of the basket or Ford had roll right off the rim killed us,” Hodges said. “When we lost Matt’s presence inside we couldn’t keep it close. Had we stayed close, we were going to do some different things. If (Jay) Case doesn’t have the ball, he can’t score.”

Bears guard Jay Case came into the contest fresh off a 35-point game at Cathedral Friday night. He showed there is no limit on his range, scoring 19 points. Lucas Burris led the Bears with 22 points, while Jared Case scored 20.

The Flashes were down 26-22 when Case’s 35-foot 3-pointer ignited the Bears. They closed the second quarter with a 9-0 run to make it 35-22 at the half.

St. Al missed its first seven shots to start the third quarter and Wooten fouled out with 5:14 left. The Bears answered with 10 straight points to go up 45-22 and the rout was on.

(G) West Lincoln 41, St. Aloysius 32

Playing again with just six girls, the Lady Flashes still gave West Lincoln a battle.

St. Al (5-10, 2-2 Division 7-1A) pulled to within 37-31 when Klaire Miller dropped in a 3-pointer with 2:10 to play. West Lincoln (9-7, 2-0) answered with Katie Mullins scoring off an inbounds play and St. Al could not recover.

St. Al coach Richard Hodges, however, was pleased.

“I thought the girls played their butts off,” Hodges said.

West Lincoln led 22-12 at the half. St. Al got some life from guard Allie Willis in the third quarter. She made five baskets to pull the Lady Flashes to within seven, at 31-24, but they couldn’t close the gap in the fourth quarter.

Smith finished with 20 points to lead West Lincoln. Willis’ 10 points paced St. Al and Sara Howington had nine.