MAN, W.Va. — The Man High School boys’ basketball team lost its home opener on Thursday night, 77-37, to the Lincoln County Panthers at the Man Memorial Fieldhouse, falling to 0-2 on the season under new head coach T.J.Blevins.
“We just got beat on the boards like 50-20. We have no size,” Blevins said. “Their big boys controlled the boards all night long. We try to get the boys to box out, and we have no experience either.”
The Panthers jumped out to an early 20-9 lead after the first period of play and never looked back.
Nate Spencer led the way with six points in the opening quarter.
The Panthers went on a 6-0 run mid-way in the second stanza on baskets by Jake Ashley, Jacob Kirkendoll and Caleb Pack to take a commanding 33-12 lead at the 4:07 mark.
Trey Whitt hit a free throw to make it 33-13 but Lincoln County outscored the Billies 10-2 to take a 43-15 lead into the locker room at the half.
Kirkendoll and Spencer hit shots to open the second half to give LCHS a 47-15 lead.
Corey Rusk hit a 3-pointer late in the third quarter as the Panthers took a 62-25 lead into the final quarter of play.
Man got back-to-back to back 3-pointers — one each by Zack Cook and one each by freshman twin brothers Matt and Andy Spaulding to start the final frame to make it 62-34.
Lincoln County went to the bench and brought in its reserves in the final six minutes of play as they went on to claw the Billies by 40 points.
Man was led in scoring by Cook with 10 points. Matt Spaulding had six, Nathan Mitchell and Quintin Moody had four each each and Andy Spaulding and Cutler Workman tossed in three points each. Tyler Elkins had two and Michael Sorrell had one point.
Lincoln County placed four players in double digit in scoring led by Nate Spencer with 14 points and Jacob Kirkendoll with 12 while Corey Rusk and Shane Wells had 11 points each. Kolton Bedelheimer and Jake Ashley just missed double digits with eight points apiece. Bruce Adkins tallied five while Hunter Workman and A.P. Adkins had two points each.
The Billies were slated to play at Oak Hill on Saturday. Man is then scheduled to play at River View on Tuesday.
Then on Thursday, Man plays Mount View in the first round of the Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament at Chapmanville Regional High School. Man lost to Mount View 100-70 on the road in the season opener on Dec. 13.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).