East Jessamine falls hard at Lincoln County

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2018

By Nancy Leedy

For The Jessamine Journal

Turnovers proved costly for the East Jessamine boys basketball team Tuesday as the Jaguars dropped their third straight game, falling 72-37 to host Lincoln County.

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East Jessamine, which falls to 4-5, turned the ball over 22 times in the road game, including nine miscues in the second quarter that allowed Lincoln to go on an 18-2 scoring run to break open the close game and set the Patriots on course for the big win.

The Jaguars had just nosed ahead 18-17 on a Zion Thomas basket when Darius Napier drove inside to ignite the 18-2 scoring surge.

Jaxon Smith and Blake Smith both scored four points in the run, all off turnovers, Riley Bodner hit twice in the paint, once off a turnover, Bryston Alcorn scored on a putback and Napier closed with two free throws to give the Patriots (5-3) a 35-20 advantage at the half.

Blake and Jaxon Smith, Bodner and a fourth Patriot, Elijah Frye, would be a thorn in the Jaguars’ defensive side as all hit double figures.

Bodner posted 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting, wiped up on the boards with a game-high 13 rebounds and had two blocks across 19 minutes.

Blake Smith matched Bodner’s point total, going 6-for-13 from the field, 3-for-7 from 3-point range. For his 15 points, Frye knocked down 13 points, going 6-for-10 from the field, and Jaxon Smith had 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting and a 3-for-7 stint at the line.

Napier and Alcorn came oh-so-close to double digits with both contributing nine points in the Lincoln win.

Ben McNew led East in scoring with 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting from 3-point range. The sophomore guard drained his first 3-pointer at the 3:48 mark of the first period to kick off an 8-2 Jaguar run and capped the run with his second trey at the 1:45 mark for the game’s only tie, 12-12.

Tyler Pitney, who finished with 12 points on 4-for-14 shooting, 4-for-5 at the foul line, scored six of East’s 14 first-quarter points, including a late bucket that made it 15-14.

Jaylen Taylor scored the opening basket in the second quarter for East’s first lead, 16-15. Frye responded with a driving layup to put Lincoln back on top, 17-16, before Thomas tallied his only goal for an 18-17 East edge. 

However, East’s offense hit the deep freeze after Thomas’ shot, as the Jags turned the ball over nine times and they connected on only 1 of 8 shot attempts over the remaining 7:11 of the first half.

East never threatened in the second half. The Patriot defense held the Jaguars to single-digit scoring in the final two periods, outscoring them 20-9 in the third quarter and 17-8 in the fourth, leading by as many as 37 points before the horn sounded on the victory.

Lincoln shot 49.2 percent from the field overall, connecting on 30 of 61 shot attempts, 4 of 17 from 3-point range, while holding East Jessamine to 29.5 percent shooting, 13-for-44 from 2-points out, 4-for-13 from 3. At the line, the Pats were 8-for-13 and the Jags were 7-for-13.

The Patriots scored a victory on the glass as well, outrebounding the Jaguars 36-26. Pitney led the Jags on the boards with eight rebounds. Frye and Napier had six rebounds apiece for Lincoln.