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West Lincoln thumps Salem; Lady Wildcats skin Lady Bears

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln's Javion Mackabee (35) and Sid Griffin (14) apply defensive pressure on Salem's Donavan Harness (3) Thursday night in Dexter's Holiday Tournament.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln’s Javion Mackabee (35) and Sid Griffin (14) apply defensive pressure on Salem’s Donavan Harness (3) Thursday night in Dexter’s Holiday Tournament.

TYLERTOWN – The West Lincoln Bears and the Salem Lady Wildcats kicked off the new year with a victory in basketball action Thursday night at Dexter’s Holiday Tournament.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Wildcats scratched out a 40-37 victory over the West Lincoln Lady Bears.

In boys’ action, the Bears knocked off the holiday rust to clobber Salem 70-44.

In other tournament action, the West Marion Lady Trojans prevailed 57-43 over the Dexter Lady Bulldogs. In the boys’ game, Dexter thumped West Marion 80-57.

Tournament action continues today as the Lady Bears and Lady Bulldogs tip off the action at noon for a girls’ consolation game. Salem battles West Marion in the boys’ consolation at 1:30 p.m.

In other games, Wesson will be entering the tournament after receiving a bye in the opening game. The Lady Cobras tangles with the Lady Wildcats at 3 p.m.. and in boys’ action, the Cobras battle the Bears at 4:30 p.m.

In the nightcap, the South Pike Lady Eagles take on the Lady Trojans at 6, followed by the South Pike boys versus Dexter at 7:30 p.m.

<cTypeface:Bold>Salem 40, West Lincoln 37 <cTypeface:Plain>

The Lady Bears and Lady Wildcats kicked off 2014 with a tough defensive battle as both teams struggled to overcome their holiday rust.

Salem (9-3, 1-0) got off to an fast start in the opening quarter as claimed a 17-8 lead.

In the second and third quarters, the Lady Bears (1-12) fought back and outscore Salem 21-12 to tied the game at 29-all before going into the final frame.

In the fourth quarter, both teams continued to fight hard defensively, but the Lady Wildcats managed to recapture the lead and escape with a victory.

Senior forward Heather Moak was the offensive leader for the Lady Bears with 14 points. Hanna Moak provided a double-double for West Lincoln with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Alli Mullins chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds.

“The girls played really well,” said West Lincoln coach Lane Young. “We had a shot to pull out the win, but we missed some easy shots and had some crucial turnovers that hurt us. Overall, we still need to keep improving.”

Ariel Fortenberry led the offensive charge for the Lady Wildcats with a team-high 13 points and eight rebounds. Jasmine May grabbed 11 rebounds to directed Salem.

“This was an ugly win,” said Salem coach Brian Smith. “It is tough for any team to get things going after the holidays, but I am proud of the girls effort.”

<cTypeface:Bold>West Lincoln 70, Salem 44 <cTypeface:Plain>

The Bears came out and used their reserves in the opening quarter for disciplinary reason for their four starting players. In the first quarter, the Bears’ reserves played hard and managed to Salem in check as the Wildcats (6-5, 1-0) could only secured a 10-9 lead after one quarter of action.

In the second quarter, West Lincoln’s main starters opened the quarter firing on all cylinders as they outscored Salem 22-12 to take a 31-22 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Bears managed to get their groove after knocking off the holiday rust and hammered the Wildcats 39-22 to secured the win.

Junior guard Duane Marshall pumped in a game-high 22 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Bears. Keshaun London netted 13 points. Senior center Sam Bivens was the leader on the boards with 14 rebounds, while contributing eight points and six block shots. Javion Mackabee also helped on the boards with 13 rebounds.

“In the first quarter, our younger players did a great job playing,” said Young. “Four of our starters were bench for disciplinary reason, and the other guys stepped up and performed well.

“In the second quarter, we continued to knock off our holiday rust and managed to get things going offensively in the second half,” continued Young, “Overall, I was pleased to give everyone some playing time, but the guys still need to make better decisions in game situations.”

Austin Fazande was the top scorer for the Wildcats with 12 points. Chaz Coleman directed Salem on the Boards with 10 rebounds.

“We came out flat and missed too many shots,” said Salem coach Randy Laird. “We cannot beat someone like West Lincoln if we don’t perform well.”

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln's Hanna Moak (35) drives in for a lay-up as Salem defender Jasmine May (5) hustles from behind to disrupt the play Thursday night.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln’s Hanna Moak (35) drives in for a lay-up as Salem defender Jasmine May (5) hustles from behind to disrupt the play Thursday night.