The Wayne County Lady Cardinals traveled to Stanford, Ky. last Monday night, to face the homestanding Lady Patriots, in an important 12th Region matchup for both teams.  Wayne County entered 0-2 on the season with losses at North Laurel 68-34 and Casey County 68-38, in their opening week.  Lincoln County entered with a 0-3 mark overall, coming off a 57-50 loss to Bell County, at South Laurel on Saturday, in the 12th/13th Region Challenge.  Lincoln County has won the last six games in the series, including a 68-27 home decision on December 4 of 2018.  Wayne County was looking for their first win against the Lady Patriots, since a 60-59 home overtime win, on December 9 of 2014.

    Lincoln County used a 16-6 run to open game and made enough plays 
down the stretch to claim a 54-45 home win, paced by the fine play of 
senior forward Trinity Shearer.  Shearer finished 10 of 19 overall 
from the field, which included 2 of 5 from 3-point range and 
connected on 6 of 9 free throw attempts to net a game high 28 points, 
in just under 30-minutes of action.          Eighth grader Talynne Shearer 
tallied on 2 of 3 3-pointers and 2 of 2 free throw attempts to add 8 
points and 2 rebounds off the bench in 13 minutes of play, as the 
winners improved to 1-3 on the young season.
    "This early season is  certainly a process with losing Macey so late 
in the preseason, after the two scrimmages, so we continue to work to 
improve.  We got off to such a slow start, as after the first quarter 
we played much better and outscored them the rest of the way. 
Trinity Shearer was a key member of some great basketball teams the 
past few years and had a tremendous night scoring with the 
basketball.  Lincoln County has one of the best programs in our 
region for very good reason, but we were able to compete and 
hopefully we'll continue to build on these types of experiences and 
improve as the season unfolds," said Lady Cards third-year head coach 
Mark McKinley.
    Senior forward Lydia Rice chipped in with 6 points and Chloe Ralston 
contributed 5 points, while the trio of Abby Lane, Hailee Reese and 
Emily Estes contributed 2 points each.  Alyvia Taylor netted 1 point, 
as eight different Lincoln County Patriots scored in the win.
    Wayne County, which dropped to 0-3 on the season, placed two scorers 
in double figures led by the team best 18 points and 6 rebounds of 
5-7 forward Haleigh Criswell.  The squad's lone senior converted on 4 
of 8 field goal attempts, which included 2 of 6 from 3-point range 
and shot a perfect 8 of 8 from the free throw line, without a 
turnover, in almost 22-minutes of action.  Sophomore forward Mallory 
Campbell made 7 of 13 from the floor and 3 of 5 from the charity 
stripe to total 17 points with 4 boards, in almost 31 minutes of action.
    "Haleigh shot the ball very well from the field and the free throw 
line, so it was great to see her have a big night on both ends of the 
court.  Mallory continues to make plays on the offensive end and is 
gaining confidence every time we play," said McKinley.
    Junior Jade Turner chipped in with 5 points and 2 assists, while 
Mariah Bowlin contributed 4 points with a team best 3 assists. 
Kenzie Upchurch grabbed a game high 7 rebounds with 1 point, as five 
of seven Lady Cards that logged minutes, marked the scoring margin.
    "We are continuing to ask folks to do things they haven't had to in 
the past, which should only make us better, once we're back to full 
strength," said McKinley.
    Lincoln County opened hot from the field and shot 41 percent from 
the field on the night, while rolling to a 16-6 first quarter advantage.
    Wayne County used the tandem of Haleigh Criswell and Mallory 
Campbell to battle back in the second period with a 12-10 surge, to 
close the halftime gap to 26-18.
    The teams played on even terms in the third frame, as defense and 
poor shooting dominated the action, as a 9-9 draw left the Lady 
Patriots with a 35-27 edge, after 24 minutes of play.
    Both offenses heated up down the stretch, as Lincoln County used a 
19-18 tilt to hold on for a 54-45 win, their seventh straight in the 
rivalry.
    The Lady Patriots, which claimed a 32-29 rebounding edge, shot 19 of 
46 overall from the field for 41 percent and that included a 5 of 14 
mark from 3-point range for 36 percent.  The winners converted on 11 
of 20 free throw attempts for 55 percent and finished with 8 
turnovers, which led to a 13-4 points off turnovers advantage.
    Wayne County finished 14 of 46 overall from the field for 30 percent 
and that included a 4 of 19 clip from 3-point range for 21 percent. 
The squad connected on 13 of 18 free throw attempts for 72 percent 
and totaled 6 assists against 11 turnovers.
 
    Up next for the Lady Cards was a Thursday night home date and 
district opener with McCreary Central.  Details on that contest are 
in a related story inside this edition of The Outlook.


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