Lincolnview sophomore Grace Gorman handles the ball in this file photo taken earlier this season. Gorman grabbed three rebounds off the bench as the Lady Lancers were defeated by Bluffton in NWC play on Thursday night. (Times Bulletin file photo)
Lincolnview sophomore Grace Gorman handles the ball in this file photo taken earlier this season. Gorman grabbed three rebounds off the bench as the Lady Lancers were defeated by Bluffton in NWC play on Thursday night. (Times Bulletin file photo)

By Nick Johnson

Times Bulletin Correspondent

sports@timesbulletin.com

BLUFFTON -The Bluffton Lady Pirates used a 16-4 second quarter to break open what had been a tied game and held off the visiting Lincolnview Lady Lancers on Thursday night. Bluffton improved to 5-3 on the season and moved to 2-0 in Northwest Conference play with their 52-42 victory.

The Lady Pirates opened the game with a quick hoop from Andie Schmutz. Lincolnview then got the next two baskets, a put-back tip from Julia Thatcher and a corner three-pointer from Christine Stemen, to give the Lady Lancers a 5-2 lead.

An Ashton Bowersock layup extend the Lady Lancers lead to 7-3 in the first quarter. The Lady Pirates then got hot from beyond the arc as Olivia Hunt connected on two consecutive three-pointers to give Bluffton a 9-7 lead.

Lincolnview got a basket from Hannah McCleery to end the first period with the score tie at 9-9.

The Lady Lancers shooting went ice cold in the second period as Claire Clay made the only basket for Lincolnview in the quarter. Bowersock was able to added two made foul shots but the Lady Pirates got three-pointers from Hunt and Sarah Schriner and a three-point play from Bailey Prichard to give Bluffton a 25-13 led after one half.

Lincolnview was able to start the second half fast, getting quick baskets from Bowersock and Thatcher, to cut into the Bluffton lead, 25-17.

Bluffton would counter with four straight points from Sami Fruchey to put the Lady Pirate lead back to 29-17.

The Lady Lancers got two three-pointers from Thatcher and a Bowersock runner to cut the Bluffton lead to 32-29, but Bluffton's Paige Buroker drained a huge three to give the Pirates a more comfortable six-point edge after three quarters of play.

Mid-way through the fourth period, the Lady Pirates got a three-pointer from Fruchey and a free throw from Abbie Parkins to extend thelead to a dozen.

Lincolnview then went on a 9-1 run to get back into the game once again at 44-40. Thatcher poured in six during the run and Kaitlyn Wendel got a hoop and the harm for the three-point play.

Bluffton was able to seal the game from the line, however, with Schriner making 6 of 8 down the stretch to give Bluffton a 52-42 win.

The Lady Pirates had two scorers in double figures as Shriner had 17 points for the game and Olivia Hunt added a dozen. Thatcher finished with a game-high 18 points and Ashton Bowersock also added in 12 for Lincolnview.

"Our girls gave maximum effort for four quarters. We didn't play well in the second quarter, but we had a nice third quarter, which is the first time all year we have had one of those, so I was very pleased with that. The fourth quarter went back and forth a little bit. We cut it to four and had a three-point attempt that didn't fall and at the end they knocked down their free throw and that is what a veteran team does," said Lincolnview coach Dan Williamson.

"In the first half we were all out of sorts. We were not getting the ball in places that we normally do. We had a lot of uncharacteristic turnovers, but in the third quarter I thought we came out and put that behind us. Julia Thatcher shot really went in the third quarter and kind of kept us in the game. Christine Stemen shot well the first quarter and really didn't look to shoot the second half, but played very good defense. We were out-sized tonight, but we battled and I thought we held our own," said coach Williamson.

Lincolnview drops to 3-5 on the year and 1-2 in the NWC.

Score by quarters

Lincolnview 9 4 16 13- 42

Bluffton 9 16 10 17- 52

Lincolnview (42) individual scoring

Bowersock 12, Thatcher 18, McCleery 4, Stemen 3, Clay 2, Gorman 0, Wendel 3

Bluffton (52) individual scoring

Schriner 17, Hunt 12, Puroker 5, Fruchey 8, Schmutz 6, Parkins 2, Prichard 3, Baker 0, Barry 0