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Bears’ shooters rain down points, 70-52 over Bobcats

West Lincoln survived a head-butting contest with Bogue Chitto Tuesday night, going on a big run early and surviving a physical game 70-52.

The Bears started to pull away late in the first quarter and went on an 11-1 run that lasted until halfway through the second, giving their shooters the confidence to fire up the basketball with the lead. The Bobcats were down by 14 points at halftime and a hard-won third quarter was not enough to close the gap, as West Lincoln brushed aside the Bogue Chitto defense in a 17-point fourth quarter.

“That was a good win. We want to put up that many points, and we’re hard to beat when we do,” said West Lincoln coach Brooks Smith. “Our goal is to score 15 points per quarter, and we can be tough to beat if we do it consistently. We’re playing right where we need to be right now.”

Good ball management was key for the Bears, who protected their possessions and found sneaky ways to get open shooters and bodies down into the post. The team turned the ball over only 13 times and offset that number with 11 steals. Nine assists went to shooters and the green jerseys snagged 29 boards.

All that firepower resulted in a 20-11 first-quarter lead for the Bears and a nearly-as-good 17-12 win in the second quarter. Bogue Chitto fought back to take the third 17-14, but West Lincoln’s shooters developed a good rapport with the net and took the final period 17-12.

Bogue Chitto coach Mark Pitts said his team’s effort was strong, and he’s proud of their willingness to battle until the final buzzer. But he called their 39 percent shooting “dismal.”

“Very dismal. And we were 40 percent from the free throw line. These are recipes for the result we got tonight,” he said. “We’re still young and fighting through a bunch of stuff, but we should be better than we are. We’re not finishing games like we need to.”

West Lincoln had four players hit double digits. Sophomore Karlton Byrd scored 16 points. Junior Garrison Coffey scored 15, while senior Adam Martinez dropped in 14. Senior Chase Owen scored 10.

Senior Donterrius Taylor and freshman Trevon Jones scored seven points each, while sophomore Michael Brothern scored one.

Bogue Chitto sophomore Zach Upkins had a big night, leading his team with 16 points. Junior Darius Porter scored 11 points, while junior Brandon Lewis scored nine. Josh Thomas scored eight points. Junior Cameron Gladdens scored four points, while juniors Jermaine Black and Malik Richardson scored two each.

Pitts promised heavy discipline for Thomas, who lost his cool in a verbal exchange with an official late in the game.

West Lincoln is 10-8 on the season and 3-1 in Region 7-2A. They travel to Germantown Friday night.

Bogue Chitto is 7-12 and 1-2 in Region 7-2A. They host Loyd Star Friday night.

The Daily Leader sought to interview the top-performing West Lincoln players from Tuesday night’s game, but coach Brooks Smith has prohibited his players from talking to the press.