Lincoln frustrated Class 3A No. 10 Washington for over a quarter on Tuesday. But as the Alices began to wear down, the Hatchets were more than prepared to pounce.
Alaina Thorne scored 21 points to lead three Washington players in double figures, and the Hatchets dominated the third quarter in pulling away from Lincoln, 61-39, for a girls basketball victory at Alice Arena.
Dani Kroeger led the Alices (2-4) with 15 points, though she was shut out in a lopsided 22-5 third quarter in favor of the Hatchets. Gracie Kramer joined her in double figures with 13 points.
Kencia Levasseur added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Washington (5-1), and Jesse Ledgerwood, who was hounded by Kramer the entire first half, got free after intermission for 11 of her 14 points.
The Alices' biggest lead early was 12-5, and Lincoln carried a 15-12 advantage after one quarter. Momentum swung toward the Hatchets late in the first half for a 29-24 lead at the break, and Washington romped to a 51-29 edge after three quarters.
“We started with more energy,” Lincoln coach Tim Young said. “The defense played well until we got tired. We missed assignments and were trailing cutters. Washington is too good of a ball club, and if you don't play as a unit on both ends of the floor, you can get exposed quickly. We played as a unit at times tonight on both ends, especially in the first quarter. (Washington coach) Gretchen (Miles) did a good job of really attacking us once we got tired and were standing up defensively.”
Levasseur opened the second quarter with a three-point play to tie it at 15, and Olivia Gilley followed with a score for Washington's first lead. But the Alices responded, as Kroeger's three-point play with 6:25 showing put Lincoln back in front 18-17.
Young said the turning point came after a Levasseur 3-pointer made it a 26-24 Washington lead with a minute to play. Chloe Cardinal was called for a questionable travel on the other end, and Ledgerwood countered by burying her first 3-pointer of the game with :31 showing to bump the halftime margin to five.
“That was a big call. We're down two, and Chloe makes a beautiful up-and-under move. But they waved the basket off for a travel. That was big, because then they make a 3, and now we're down five,” Young said.
“I can't seem to get them to come out of the locker room (after halftime). I have to find the motivation to get us to play in the third quarter. We've played five games now, and the third quarter has killed us in every game.”
The lead swelled to 39-26 five minutes into the third period, and it was 43-29 when Washington tallied the final eight points of the quarter, including Ledgerwood's consecutive 3s, to put it out of reach.
Washington, which turned it over nine times in the first half, didn't have a miscue in the third, and the Hatchets had a 12-4 rebounding edge in the period to grab a 27-13 margin for the game.
Washington got its lead up to as many as 26 in the fourth quarter.
Though Young admitted he hates to lose, he wasn't discouraged by the performance.
“We had more energy from the start, and it's just a matter of time,” Young said. “I believe in these young women, and I believe we have two of the best players in southwestern Indiana (Kroeger and Cardinal). I want Dani and Chloe to step up and lead this team to where I believe they can get, because I have confidence in them.”
Lincoln's junior varsity held off the Hatchets for a 40-37 victory. Kahre McCary scored 19 for the Alices (5-1), and Mattye Meadows 11.
Lincoln visits 3A honorable mention Corydon Central at 1 p.m. Saturday.
WASHINGTON 61, LINCOLN 39
Thorne (f) 7-12 5-7 21, Gilley (f) 3-5 0-0 6, Hill (f) 0-1 0-0 0, Ledgerwood (g) 5-12 0-0 14, Levasseur (g) 8-13 1-1 18, Browning 1-2 0-0 2, Dalton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-45 6-8 61.
Cardinal (f) 1-7 2-4 4, Sexton (f) 1-3 0-0 2, Fleetwood (g) 1-3 0-0 3, Kramer (g) 5-13 1-4 13, Kroeger (g) 4-8 5-5 15, Gerkin 1-4 0-0 2, Halter 0-0 0-0 0, Hartley 0-0 0-0 0, McCrary 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-38 8-13 39.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Washington |12-17-22-10 — 61
Lincoln |15-9-5-10 — 39
3-pointers: Washington 7-13 (Ledgerwood 4-7, Thorne 2-3, Levasseur 1-2, Browning 0-1), Lincoln 5-16 (Kroeger 2-4, Kramer 2-6, Fleetwood 1-2, Cardinal 0-3, Gerkin 0-1). Rebounds: Washington 27 (Levasseur 10), Lincoln 13 (Sexton, Fleetwood, Kroeger 3). Turnovers: Washington 12, Lincoln 8. Fouls: Washington 11, Lincoln 10. Fouled out: Gerkin. JV: Lincoln 40-37.