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West Lincoln secure two wins over Loyd Star

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln's Keshaun London (11) dribbles past Loyd Star's Levi Redd (23) Tuesday night in Jack Case Gymnasium.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln’s Keshaun London (11) dribbles past Loyd Star’s Levi Redd (23) Tuesday night in Jack Case Gymnasium.

West Lincoln and Loyd Star basketball fans gathered and watched a thrilling offensive and defensive contest as the Bears and Hornets battled for the first time as Region 7-2A opponents Tuesday night in Jack Case Gymnasium.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Bears rallied late in the fourth quarter to clip the Loyd Star Lady Hornets 38-35.

In the boys contest, two offensive heavyweights battled hard in a tough defensive game as the Bears managed to maintain control to secure a 67-59 victory over the Hornets.

West Lincoln continues region action Friday as they travel to Columbia to battle the East Marion Eagles for three games. The junior varsity boys will tip off at 5 p.m. The varsity games are set to start at 6 p.m. for the girls and 7:30 for the boys.

Loyd Star returns home to host the Bassfield Yellowjackets for a huge region test. The varsity girls will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the boys.

West Lincoln 38, Loyd Star 35 

The Lady Bears and the Lady Hornets provided a tough defensive game for their basketball fans as both teams fought in a back and forth contest.

In the first half, the Lady Hornets (8-8, 0-2) managed to capture a 14-10 lead before heading into the locker room at halftime.

In the second half, the Lady Bears (4-13, 2-0) battled back into the contest and outscored Loyd Star 28-21 to remain undefeated in region action.

Sophomore Alli Mullins was the offensive leader for the Lady Bears with 11 points. Hanna Moak also chipped in with a double-double performance of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

“We struggled to score offensively, but managed to make plays on defense to help us stay in the game,” said West Lincoln coach Lane Young. “Both teams did a great job playing hard until the very end. I am proud to get the win but we need to continue working hard to get better.”

Sophomore forward Shelby Jordan pumped in a game-high double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds to direct the Lady Hornets.

“We missed too many easy shots under the goal which allowed West Lincoln to stay in the game,” said Loyd Star coach Gene ‘Moochie’ Britt. “The girls played hard for both teams. West Lincoln did a good job by making the plays they needed to get the win. Overall, I was pleased with the girls effort, but we need to do a better job rebounding and making our shots in crucial moments.”

West Lincoln 67, Loyd Star 59

Jack Case’s gym was packed full with exciting fans as both teams came out and fought hard from start to finish.

In the opening quarter, the Hornets (11-5, 0-2) came out and managed to control West Lincoln’s high octane offense at the start before the Bears put together a late run to secure the 21-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Bears (15-3, 2-0) continued to roll offensively and outscored the Hornets 22-13 to take a 43-28 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Hornets entered the third quarter refusing to give up and outscored the Bears 17-6 and cut West Lincoln’s lead down to 49-45.

In the fourth quarter, the battle continued to heat up as both teams fought back and forth in a scoring spree, but West Lincoln managed to withstand Loyd Star’s aggressive defense to secure the win.

Sophomore guard Keshaun London directed the Bears’ offense with a game-high 20 points. Junior guard Duane Marshall chipped in with 18 points. Senior center Sam Bivens provided the Bears with a double-double performance of 13 points and 12 rebounds. Javion Mackabee also helped on the boards with 10 rebounds.

“The guys thought the game was over after halftime and Loyd Star did a good job exploiting our lack of intensity,” said Young. “We came out flat in the second half and Loyd Star took it to us. They did a great job taking us out of our game plan. I am pleased to get the win, but we need to get better.”

The Hornets had three players to score in double figures as Caleb Yarborough paced Loyd Star’s offense with 17 points. Edrick Alsworth contributed 13 points. Levi Redd netted 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists. Brad Jasper was the leader on the boards with 6 rebounds for the Hornets.

“The guys did a great hustling offensively and defensively,” said Britt. “We came out and managed to keep West Lincoln’s shooter in check, but other members of the Bears squad stepped up and helped in scoring. Overall, I was pleased with our effort, but we need to continue improving as a team and rebound the ball better.”

In junior varsity action, Loyd Star swept West Lincoln.

In the girls’ contest, the Lady Hornets surpassed the Lady Bears 18-15. Caylee Yarborough led Loyd Star with 7 points. Sara Jane Doty paced West Lincoln with 6 points.

In boys’ action, Loyd Star defeated West Lincoln 40-33. Javion Beard was the top scorer for the Hornets with 12 points. Lane Rogers added 10 points.

Jason Watts pumped in a game-high 21 points to lead the Bears.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Loyd Star's Jordan Shelby (22) drives in for a layup as West Lincoln's Hanna Moak (35) tries to denied the play Tuesday night.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Loyd Star’s Jordan Shelby (22) drives in for a layup as West Lincoln’s Hanna Moak (35) tries to denied the play Tuesday night.