LINCOLNTON, Ga. -- The success of Lincoln County's football program always seems to overshadow other sports at the school. But on Saturday night in the Region 4-A Tournament Championship game, the Red Devil basketball team made a name of its own.
The Red Devils claimed their first region championship since 1994 when they took Wilkinson County into overtime Saturday night and pulled out a 71-67 victory in front of standing room only crowd at Lincoln County High School's gym.
And Lincoln won the game much like they've won all its other games this season, controlling the offensive and defensive boards.
"I felt like we had a chance to win the game if we could control the boards," Lincoln County coach Laverne Hickman said. "That's been our strength all year and it was our strength tonight."
Lincoln County (18-3) led 51-45 at the end of the third quarter and pushed its lead to 56-45 with 6:45 left in regulation. But Wilkinson County stormed back to tie the game at 60-60 with 2:40 left on the strength of a 15-3 run.
Wilkinson took the lead at 62-60, but Lincoln's El Wynn sent the game into overtime when he sank the first of two free throws to tie the game at 62-62 with eight seconds left.
But in overtime, Lincoln took command, scoring the first four points and held Wilkinson to just one shot from the field, shutting down the Warrior's scoring attack to post the win.
Lincoln will now play Region 1-A runnerup Seminole County in the first round of the Class A state tournament, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in the Macon Coliseum.
After the game ended, the overflow crowd rushed onto the court like the Red Devils had just won the state championship.
Lincoln got 21 points from Antonio Henderson. Shedrick Wynn added 14 points while Dant Danner added 12 and Patrick Davis had 11.
Lincoln County boys 71
Wilkinson County 67
WILKINSON COUNTY (67) -- Tory Chambers 10, Xavier Whipple 13, K.C. Lowder 8, Deitric Crockett 4, Tevarie Veal 3, Trevarie Edmond 25. Totals 24 14-26 67.
LINCOLN COUNTY (71) -- Antonio Henderson 21, Shedrick Wynn 14, Dant Danner 12, Patrick Davis 11, Jonathan Crook 6, El Wynn 5, Kendrick Henderson 2. Totals 29 11-25 71.
Wilkinson County 16 13 16 17 -- 67
Lincoln County 16 19 16 9 -- 71
Three-point goals: Lincoln County 2 (Antonio Henderson 2); Wilkinson County 4 (Trevarie Edmond 2, Tory Chambers 1, Xavier Whipple 1). Next Game: Lincoln County vs. Seminole County, Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Macon Coliseum, first round of Class A state tournament.W