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West Lincoln Lady Bears tread on Wesson Lady Cobras

The West Lincoln varsity girls built a green wall around the lane and kept Wesson from getting clean approaches to the basket, crippling the Lady Cobras’ offense and winning their Tuesday night contest by a score of 59-37.

The Lady Bears jumped out to an early lead and immediately filled the paint with defenders, forcing Wesson to pass the ball back and forth around the perimeter and settle for low-percentage shots from way outside or desperate charges into the defense. The she snakes started to crack the wall in the third quarter and close the gap on the scoreboard, but West Lincoln responded by releasing their shooters and pulled out of reach.

“We talk a lot on defense and work together as a team. We make opponents play to our pace — non-stop,” said West Lincoln junior Megan Gerald. “Shoot and run, run and shoot.”

Gerald did lots of running and shooting, driving inside of Wesson’s defense and making her presence felt in the paint for most of the night. She finished with 12 points, 10 of which came from inside the arch, and the Lady Cobras grabbed her to stop a drive on the basket twice. She hit two of her four free-throw attempts and also recorded three steals and six assists.

Juniors Katelyn Dickerson and Skylar Hall were also weapons inside for the Lady Bears, scoring 15 and 13 points, respectively, with Dickerson working in close from the right side of the rim and Hall making noise on the left. Hall was also aggravating on defense, nabbing four steals away from the Lady Cobras.

West Lincoln responded to a surge of Wesson baskets that began closing up the score late in the game by feeding the ball to sophomore Bailey Wilson, who fired off seven three-point shots, sinking a pair and forcing the Lady Cobras to account for her. She finished with 10 points and two crucial long balls that helped put the game out of reach late.

“Thanks to our coach, we’ve had a lot of practice shooting. I knew all my teammates were making shots, and once they started making shots it just rubbed off on me,” Wilson said.

West Lincoln coach Brooks Smith said the green girls have a lot to work on — the Lady Bears turned the ball over 17 times and seemed to be out of position in the third quarter when Wesson’s furious assault on the basket started eating into the lead.

“It was good to go get that win. Our effort and energy was much better tonight, and overall I’m really pleased with how the girls played,” Smith said.

Lady Cobras coach Candice McDuffy said her team was caught in a tough spot against West Lincoln — the athletic she-Bears out-muscled her man defense, but with so many shooters in green switching to zone would have been certain death.

“I had to stay with it,” she said. “We’ve got to get better at seeing the man and the ball. Those are two key things.”