By LARRY VAUGHT
GEORGETOWN — It was not Kentucky signee Emma King’s best offensive game at Lincoln County, but it might have been one of her more memorable performances, especially with Kentucky assistant coach Kyra Elzy watching.
Lincoln County knocked off previously unbeaten Scott County 79-69 Friday night in the Toyota Classic here. Scott came into the game 18-0 and ranked No.1 in the state. Lincoln, now 15-2, was ranked No. 7 and coming off a win Thursday here over George Rogers Clark, another top 15 team.
The Patriots had a 10-point lead late in the first half but Scott took the lead late in the third quarter at 49-48 and then 51-50. However, King helped put the game away with a superb final 10 minutes. She hit two 3-pointers in a 90-second span to start a Lincoln surge that pushed the lead to 68-62. But perhaps her best play came with just over two minutes left when she anticipated the play Scott County was setting up, left her position, broke in front of the intended receiver to intercept the pass and drove the length of the court for an contested lay-up to make the lead 72-65.
She also helped shut down Scott’s top scorer, guard Maaliya Owens (a Tennessee Tech signee), the final three minutes. King partially blocked a 3-point try, forced her to miss a contested drive to the basket and made her shoot over her on another missed three.
Owens finished with a game-high 24 points but needed 21 shots, including 13 from 3-point range. King, a 2,000-point career scorer like Owens, had 22 points and was 6-for-16 from the field (3-for-4 in the second half). However, King also got to the foul line nine times and added seven rebounds and three steals to earn defensive player of the game honors.
King also had more help than Owens.
— Center Kaitlyn Walks had 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 at the foul line along with seven rebounds.
— Point guard Maddy Boyle was 4-for-8 from the field and 5-for-5 at the foul line for her 13 points. More importantly, she controlled the game’s pace and dished out six assists and made two steals.
— Guard Zaria Napier, despite sitting out the second quarter in foul trouble, had 10 points and 12 rebounds along with two steals.
— Guard Trinity Shearer contributed nine points, eight rebounds and four assists.
That’s why Lincoln managed to beat Scott in its first matchup with a team ranked No. 1 in the state in almost 30 years. Yet the win was not a surprise to the Patriots.
“If we win, don’t call it an upset. We think we can play with anybody in the state,” Lincoln coach Cassandra McWhorter told WPBK-FM’s Tim Estes before the game.
That’s why her players enjoyed the win but did not overly celebrate. They still have higher goals — winning the 12th Region title, competing for a state championship. However, beating Scott still might be the best regular-season victory ever for the Patriots — or certainly the best in many, many years.