The Lincoln County High girls basketball team finished up their season March 1 in Las Vegas, falling to White Pine in the state tournament semifinals by one point, 29-28.
“This obviously didn’t go great because we didn’t win, but the girls played hard,” coach Duane Wadsworth said. “We could’ve made a few more shots, but our defense was great.”
White Pine won the jump and scored three baskets consecutively. Then junior Sadie Soderborg broke their run with a layup. Both teams had a formidable defense and prevented many attempts at scoring.
White Pine launched into the second quarter and scored immediately. Lincoln scored as well but couldn’t break the two-point barrier until sophomore Alexis Barton hit a shot from beyond the arc. Possession of the ball changed multiple times before the horn sounded for halftime with the Lynx down by one, 14-15.
Both teams came out ready to battle to the very last point. Soderborg drove for the lead, but White Pine took it right back. This happened continually throughout the third quarter. As soon as Lincoln put in a basket, White Pine would come down the court to match it. The quarter ended as it had started, with White Pine once again ahead by one point, 21-20.
Lincoln initially faltered in their defense in the fourth quarter and allowed White Pine to get a five-point lead. Halfway through the quarter, Lincoln rallied. Sophomore Gwen Lamb played excellent defense. Senior Kendra Mathews, Soderborg and junior Macie Howard all put in two-pointers at the right time. Lamb stole got a steal and took it to the basket to bring the Lynx within one point of victory once again.
With six seconds left on the clock, Mathews rebounded and gave fans a glimmer of hope at a final shot. Unfortunately, time ran out.
“No one scored 10 points in any quarter,” Wadsworth said. “It’s really hard to play all season and go down there and lose the first game, but Ely’s a good team, big and strong, and the girls played their hardest and did the best they could do. I’m just proud of them. Proud of everyone, the starters, Gwen, Alexis Barton coming in to bank that three. That was a big boost for her and the team.”
Mathews and Soderborg both scored nine points. Lamb scored four. Barton and Howard both had three.
Lincoln County had a successful season with a 15-12 overall record and a 12-2 league record.
Wadsworth said, “Our season went really well. The girls played hard and did exactly what I asked them to do. They improved a lot and just got better and better. I think they just worked harder towards the end of the season when we needed it. A lot of the younger girls stepped up and did really good as well. We’re all young, and I just can’t wait for next year. It’s going to be an awesome year.”