Lincoln Christian’s girls hadn’t played a regulation basketball game in 18 days but the Bulldogs finally got a workout Tuesday.
Micah Clayton and Ellie Brueggemann scored 20 points each and Adyson Roberts and Gracie Talley played supporting backcourt roles as the Class 3A No. 3 Bulldogs opened the postseason with a 62-31 win over Eufaula in district tournament action in the Lincon gym.
Clayton, a 6-foot senior center, also posted her 1,000th career point, scoring with a sideways flick of the wrist through heavy traffic off of a pass by Roberts with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
Play was stopped and the public address announcer acknowledged the milestone as fans cheered.
“It’s exciting. It’s a goal I’ve been working toward this season and it’s great to finally get it,” Clayton said. “I found out that I needed 40 two games ago and I scored 20 points in the first game and I scored 20 tonight.”
What about the pass from Roberts?
“It was a freakin’ good pass,” she said with a laugh.
Brueggemann, a sharpshooting sophomore, splurged for 11 straight second-quarter points, quickly hitting three 3-pointers and a 2-pointer that lifted Lincoln’s 21-12 lead to 32-12 in what seemed a heartbeat.
Lincoln (17-4) moved on to play Rejoice Christian in a regional semifinal game at 6 p.m. Thursday at Prague High School. Eufaula (5-8), led by Allie Anderson’s 10 points, will play North Rock Creek at 1 p.m. Thursday in the losers bracket, also at Prague.
Like many schools stymied by the coronavirus and recent severe winter weather, neither team had played in more than two weeks. To make up Lincoln’s layoff, coach Melody Stewart scheduled scrimmages against Inola and Verdigris last week. For whatever reason, the Bulldogs were ready to play Tuesday night.
“I think we had some energy and (Stewart) had us well prepared,” Brueggemann said.
EUFAULA 52, LINCOLN 48 (BOYS): Nick Jones scored 22 to lead the 10th-ranked Ironheads (10-4) and Noah Reimer led Lincoln (5-15) with 15.
After trailing most of the way, the Bullldogs pulled within 44-42 with 2:42 left on a pair of baskets by Kolbe Katsis, who scored 14.
But Eufaula’s Alex Praish hit a 3-pointer and the Ironeads led five five with 1:49 left.
Grant Kaste’s trey made it 51-48 with 18 seconds left, but the Bulldogs couldn’t cash in after the Ironheads missed two free throws and a Jones foul shot put the game out of reach.
LINCOLN CHR. 62, EUFAULA 31 (GIRLS)
Eufaula 10 8 7 6 — 31
Lincoln Christian 17 19 16 10 — 62
Eufaula (5-8): Allie Anderson 10, Mykay Osborne 5, Kylie Diaz 4, Olivia Howard 4, Adison McLaughlin 3, Kambry Williams 3, McKenzie Crawley 2.
Lincoln (17-4): Ellie Brueggemann 20, Micah Clayton 20, Lexi Murphy 6, Jordan Faulkner 4, Adyson Roberts 4, Bayleigh Smith 3, Hannah Clayton 2, Kenlee Steele 2, Chloe Ricke 1.
EUFAULA 52, LINCOLN CHR. 48 (BOYS)
Eufaula 10 20 9 13 — 52
Lincoln Christian 13 9 12 14 — 48
Eufaula (10-4): Nick Jones 22, Alex Parish 17, Jacob Fitzer 8, Khelil Deere 5.
Lincoln (5-15): Noah Reimer 15, Kolbe Katsis 14, Grant Kaste 9, Logan Isbell 5, Zane Hampton 3, Cainen Mar 2.