There might be a new girls basketball rivalry brewing in the 3A Pierce County League.
Seventh-ranked Lincoln loves physicality. The Abes feed off of it. But Bethel is no slouch.
In the end, it was Faith Brantley’s hot shooting that finally allowed Lincoln to subdue the Braves, 50-36, on Friday night in Tacoma.
The Abes (9-2, 6-0 in 3A PCL) got a game-high 17 points from Brantley, who sank a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to turn away a rally by Bethel (9-2, 4-1). She tallied eight of her points in the final quarter.
Kondalia Montgomery added 12 points, and Shawndreia Brown chipped in 11 for Lincoln.
The Braves were led by the dynamic sister combination of Tiarra Brown (team-high 15 points) and Tianna Brown (10).
“The game was really rough,” Bethel coach John Ainslie said. “Give it to Lincoln, the refs let them play, and they beat us up.”
But at least this was a game where the other team put its nose into the action.
It was a brutally physical 32 minutes of action. Bodies hit the floor constantly. Players dove into one another going for loose basketballs.
“We love playing in games like this,” Brantley said. “It makes us work harder. And it brings our intensity up.”
Trailing early in the second quarter, the Abes went on a 13-0 run to grab a 21-10 lead on Shawndreia Brown’s bucket at the 2:20 mark.
Bethel did not score its first points of the quarter until there were 71 seconds remaining.
But the Braves hung around, until Lincoln had one final spurt in it — a 12-3 run in the first 4:08 of the fourth quarter.
Brantley capped it with a top-of-the-arc 3-pointer, and the Abes led, 42-26. Lincoln made eight of its 11 field-goal attempts in the final quarter.
“We had to play our top game,” Brantley said. “We knew we had to bring it.”
The teams combined for 43 turnovers.