LINCOLN — The Lincoln girls basketball team could not keep pace with Sturgeon, falling to the Lady Bulldogs 49-27 on Saturday.
A Paige Bybee jumper cut Sturgeon’s lead to 5-4 early in the game, but the Lady Bulldogs went on a 13-4 run to end the first quarter and begin the second, then went on a 21-0 run in the second and third.
“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot with 20 turnovers in the first half and they scored 15 points off those turnovers,” said Lincoln coach Cassy Nicolay. “I think we were nervous, new year, but we had some signs in there.”
The Lady Cardinals trailed 49-17 in the fourth before scoring the final 10 points of the game. Bybee hit a 3-pointer, then had a steal which led to an and-one. She led Lincoln with 11 points.
“Offensively we got more aggressive,” Nicolay said. “Blayke (Bays) was playing really well. She got more aggressive than she did last year. Paige kind of caught fire. When she catches fire, all of us kind of pick up. I need Sloan (Swearngin) to pick up and Taylor (Sanders), but we had Aleah Paxton, she did really well as a freshman just be more aggressive, but there were some sparks there.”
Bays had eight points and six rebounds for Lincoln. Paxton and Christina Eckhoff each had five rebounds in their varsity debuts.
The teams traded baskets in the early going before Sturgeon got a putback from Emma Bright and a 3-pointer from Kaylee Cranmer to make it 10-4.
Swearngin answered with a jumper for Lincoln who trailed 13-6 after one quarter.
Sturgeon’s Lauren Mills got free for a pair of jumpers from nearly the same spot early in the second quarter, then hit two more baskets moments later on drives to the rim. She finished the game with 12 points. Sturgeon led at halftime 28-12.
In the third quarter, Lincoln struggled on offense, not scoring until Bays hit a basket in the paint with 1:11 left in the quarter as Sturgeon built a 45-14 lead.
Bybee’s scoring outburst and a pair of jumpers from Korie Faulconer led Lincoln to 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles