By Steve LeMaster
STEARNS – McCreary Central flirted with reaching the century mark in the scoring column on its way to defeating visiting Lincoln County 96-83 in a boys’ high school basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
With the win, McCreary Central improved to 8-12.
Lincoln County dropped to 9-12 with the loss.
Familiar foes, McCreary Central and Lincoln County are longtime 12th Region rivals.
The 96 points is a single-game season-high for the Raiders.
Host McCreary Central excelled offensively, shooting over 70 percent in the winning effort.
McCreary Central shot 71.4 percent (30-of-42) from the field. The Raiders were 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) from 3-point range.
McCreary Central shot 77.4 percent (24-of-31) from the free throw line.
The Raiders outrebounded Lincoln County -17.
Host McCreary Central enjoyed its most balanced offensive effort thus far in the 2017-18 season as five different players reached double figures in the scoring column.
Senior guard Hunter Jones led McCreary Central with a game-high 26 points. Jones drained four 3-point field goals for the Raiders in the victory.
Senior forward Ryan Jones finished second in scoring for the Raiders, delivering 17 points.
Accompanying the Jones duo in double figures, Nick Longmire contributed 16 points, Derrick Paige chipped in 14 points and John Cash posted 11 points. Longmire and Cash connected on a trio of 3-point field goals apiece for the Raiders.
Brandon Troxell and Devin Strunk rounded out the McCreary Central individual scoring, chipping in seven points and five points, respectively.
Ryan Jones led McCreary Central on the backboards, grabbing seven rebounds.
Lincoln County shot 56.9 percent (33-of-58) from the field. The Patriots were 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) from 3-point range.
Lincoln County shot 70..6 percent (12-of-17) from the free throw line.
Blake Smith led Lincoln County with 22 points. Four different Lincoln County players reached double figures in the scoring column as Chase Phillips posted 20 points, Elijah Fye netted 15 points and Riley Bodner added 12 points.
Other scorers for Lincoln County in the high-scoring contest were Spencer Baird (six points), Darius Napier (five points), Jaxon Smith (two points) and Bryson Yaden (one point).
Lincoln County suffered its fourth straight loss.
The Raiders defeated Lincoln County for the second time in the current campaign.