Rebels top Lincoln at home; See photo slideshow

By MIKE MARSEE
Contributing Writer

In a season marked by significant wins, this one was particularly satisfying for the Boyle County boys.

Boyle took Lincoln County’s best shot and gave one better, battling back in the second half for a 68-52 victory Monday night.

It was meaningful for the Rebels because it was their second victory this season over Lincoln, which has won the last two 45th District championships while Boyle hasn’t won a postseason game during that time.

“To beat them twice in a season means a lot,” Boyle guard Luke Imfeld said. “It says that we’ve changed.”

It was also satisfying, however, because of the way the Rebels won. Down by 10 points late in the first half, they surged ahead early in the second half and finished with a flourish.

“I was proud of them because they executed and did what we asked at halftime,” Boyle coach Dennie Webb said. “We took a big shot. They came out swinging at us … and I thought we did a much better job in the second half.”

Boyle (14-2, 5-0 district) tightened its grip on first place in the 45th District standings by sweeping the regular-season series with Lincoln (9-6, 3-3) for the first time in three years.

“They’re good at what they do, and they’re hard to play,” Webb said. “It doesn’t matter what year … they always know what they’re doing and they’re just hard to guard.”

The Rebels’ five district wins have all been by double-digits, and they are in position to secure the No. 1 seed for the district tournament in the coming days.

Monday’s game was marked by two distinctly different halves.

Lincoln had the hot hand in the first half, shooting 54 percent (13 for 24) overall from the field and 54 percent (7 for 13) from 3-point range.

No one was hotter than Baylor Mattingly, who hit four of seven 3-point shots and scored 14 points in the first two periods.

He sank three 3s in the second quarter, the last of which gave the Patriots a 34-24 lead 55 seconds before halftime.

Boyle shot a respectable 42 percent (10 for 24) from the field but couldn’t keep pace thanks to Lincoln’s hot shooting – Mattingly was 5 for 8 and Tramane Alcorn was 4 for 4 from the field.

Boyle’s Luke Sheperson scored the last five points of the first half to pull the Rebels within 34-29, and they hit the ground running in the second half.

Imfeld hit three 3-point shots in the first 2:05 of the third period for nine of his game-high 20 points, accounting for most of an 11-2 run that gave the Rebels a 40-36 lead.

The Rebels outscored the Patriots 19-6 in the third quarter and went on to shoot 55 percent (11 for 20) and go 4 for 8 from 3-point range in the second half. Meanwhile, Lincoln shot just 27 percent (6 for 22) overall and went 2 for 8 from 3-point range after halftime.

“We were focusing more on the drives in the first half, and the second half we were focusing more on their shooters and shutting them down from the line the best we could,” Imfeld said.

“We tried to get everybody to contest all shots and make them rush a little bit, and I thought we did that a little better in that third quarter,” Webb added.

Four players scored in double figures for Boyle. Jagger Gillis had 15 points and five assists, Owen Barnes had 13 points and seven rebounds and Sheperson had 11 points and nine rebounds.

The Rebels had 12 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Patriots 36-21.

“Our kids play hard. They’re a hard bunch to contain and keep off the glass when we want to go after it, and when you get offensive rebound after offensive rebound, it wears on a team’s psyche,” Webb said.

Like Boyle, Lincoln had four scorers in double figures. Mattingly led the way with 14 points, though he was scoreless in the second half. Jaxon Smith scored 12 points, and Alcorn and Colton Ralston added 11 each. Smith had team highs with seven rebounds and four assists.

DCA growth milestone: The Danville Christian girls reached a significant milestone Thursday when they defeated Boyle County 52-34 on Thursday.

It was the Lady Warriors’ first victory in a game that counted in the 45th District standings. They joined the KHSAA for the 2019-20 school year and are playing regular-season games against district opponents for the first time this season.

“I think it was a big mental hurdle,” DCA coach Billy Inmon said. “I could tell a sense of relief that they got that monkey off their backs, that they weren’t worried about, ‘When is it going to happen? When are we going to do it?’ And I was glad it happened in the fashion that it happened, it … was an 18 point victory, it was something we could enjoy.”

Host DCA shot 50 percent (24 for 48) from the field in the win but also played strong defense, holding Boyle to 18 percent (11 for 62).

“We finally got back to our roots,” Inmon said. “We’ve always been a defensive team, and we completely changed our style for this year. We focused way too much on our offense. The whole week before that we focused on our defense, and it really showed up.”

Three of a kind
Makeup games and newly created matchups are popping up everywhere these days, often causing teams to play on consecutive days. The Danville boys went one better, however, playing three games in three days.

The Admirals defeated Danville Christian 68-53 on Saturday, lost to West Jessamine 70-50 on Sunday and defeated Taylor County 83-60 on Monday. They were scheduled to play at East Jessamine on Tuesday night, but that game was canceled.

Unless or until things change again, the Admirals are scheduled to close the regular season with nine games over 15 days between Feb. 23 and March 9.

Danville-Boyle rematch
The second meeting of the season between the Danville and Boyle County boys will be played at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Boyle.

The game was postponed Feb. 16 due to severe winter weather, then rescheduled for March 11 before it was moved up five days.