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West Lincoln sweeps Salem with 63-12, 66-52 wins

West Lincoln got its first sweep of the season Friday night when the Lady Bears demolished Salem 63-12 and the boys picked up their first victory with a 66-52 win over the Wildcats.

In the girls’ game, the Lady Bears started off slowly, but picked things up in the second period, as their defense came to life by causing turnovers. They were also dominant on the boards, as they gathered countless offensive and defensive rebounds.

“We had a slow start tonight,” said Lady Bears coach Brooks Smith. “We did better in the second quarter and took advantage of what was given to us. It’s always good to go into a holiday break with a win. We have a tough game coming up against Puckett and we will need to be better focused for that one.”

West Lincoln used an early 10-1 run to build their lead before Clarissa Campbell of Salem hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 10-4. The Lady Bears led 14-4 after the first quarter.

Coming out hot to start the second period, West Lincoln went on an eight-point run before the Lady Wildcats were able to get a shot to fall.

West Lincoln had a commanding 45-8 halftime lead.

The Lady Bears had four players hit double digits, led by junior Paige Shedd with 16 points. Shedd also grabbed four rebounds and made one steal. Senior Megan Gerald scored 13 points and handed out four assists while making four steals. Senior guard Skylar Hall scored 10 points and junior Bailey Wilson added 10 points of her own.

In the boys’ game, the Bears used a strong second half effort to take control of the game and notch their first victory of 2018-2019.

“It was good to get the season’s first win,” said Smith. “We still have to clean up a lot of stuff, though.”

West Lincoln held a 28-23 halftime lead in a game that was back and forth in the first two quarters.

Coming out of halftime, the Bears turned up their defense as they started to pull away from Salem.

The Bears got strong interior play all night from big junior forward Keshawn Byrd. The powerful Byrd scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for West Lincoln. Karlton Byrd — no relation — is a jack-of-all trades player for Smith and the Bears. On Friday, he stepped up for one of his biggest scoring nights of the season, as he netted a team-high 20 points while grabbing three steals and snagging three rebounds.

The game was a two-possession affair at the start of the fourth quarter, as West Lincoln only led 42-36, but their defensive intensity would be the difference in the final period.

Junior Anthony Hughes was the other West Lincoln Bear in double figures, as he scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Michael Brothern added nine points.

West Lincoln hosts Puckett on Nov. 27. The girls’ game should be especially good, as the Lady Wolves are 3-1 at press time and finished 27-3 last season under coach Holly Moncrief.

Story by Dave Linton