Down by 17 points with 6:32 to play, no problem!
At least, on this night, for the Lincoln girls basketball Golden Eagles.
The never-say-die Lincoln team battled all the way back Tuesday night at Centerville, tying the game on a trey in the waning seconds, then winning 61-53 in overtime.
Leading 44-27, Centerville had played a sparking game, mixing the all-around play of Makayla McFarland (23 points) with a combined five treys from three other players, to build a commanding lead.
But the Eagles didn’t fold, holding Centerville scoreless for more than five minutes, while scoring 11 points before two charity tosses from Alexis Fields with 1:20 to play left the Bulldogs still ahead 46-38.
Still, that wasn’t enough.
Repeated turnovers and a couple of missed shots left the door open just a crack, and Lincoln barged right through.
A trey by Haley Hall made in 46-41, then Centerville’s Morgane Chenowith hit a layup for a 48-41 ‘Dog lead.
But it came down to a 49-46 Centerville lead, a turnover on an inbound play, and LHS senior Tayler Pennington, who drained a trey to tie the score at 49.
When Lincoln senior Jordan Bryant got the overtime tip, Lincoln scored to lead for the first time all night.
At 53-53, Lincoln’s Kylie Klein scored inside to grab the lead for good. Pennington and Kristen Meal (20 points) hit both ends of one-and-one chances, then Bryant threw in a late fielder to move the visitors to 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in the TEC. Centerville is now 1-4 and 0-1, respectively.
“I think I can say that I have never seen anything like that (the comeback win) in 25 years of coaching,” Lincoln coach John Lewellen said of the 298th coaching victory of his career. “Centerville is a good ballclub over there, and we just couldn’t get anything going throughout the game. We just struggled, and it just snowballed on us through the whole game, then it turned and did the same thing on them.”
He had praise for the tenacity of his players.
“We finally got it turned around, and we hit that 3-pointer at the end,” he said. “It was a team effort, everybody contributed, and the girls just kept fighting.”
For Bulldog head coach Jason Searcy, it was a good performance by his team, until the final few minutes of play.
“The girls played really well for almost the whole game, but we just couldn’t finish the game,” Searcy said. “The girls did a good job, except at the end.”
Chenowith had 10 points for Centerville, while Hall and Bryant added 11 each for the Golden Eagles. Pennington had eight for Lincoln and Klein seven.