LINTON — North Daviess rolled into Linton, winners of eight of their last nine ball games, but left quietly distraught after losing a 43-42 nail biter to the Miners.
The first quarter was an offensive slugfest — Linton led 16-14 after eight minutes as junior ISU signee Lincoln Hale and ND freshman point guard Jaylen Mullen each hit for eight in the period.
The Miners took a 27-21 advantage into intermission as the Cougars mustered just seven tallies- a bucket from Trevor Riggins along with five points from fellow frosh Lance and Logan Wilson.
Riggins added four more in the third with Kirk Wagler adding three and senior Jack Townsend making his only shot of the night — a corner three-ball that cut the host’s lead to 34-31.
The fourth stanza was a stellar one for North Daviess for the most part as Wagler nailed a three-pointer to answer Miner freshman Joey Hart Jrs long ball. Two minutes later, Riggins got a tough interior bucket and ensuing charity toss with two minutes remaining to slice the deficit back to one at 40-39.
Linton senior, Devyn Robertson, then missed a one-and-one free throw opportunity to give the Cougars a shot for the lead. Following a time-out with 28 seconds, Mullen’s pass to a cutting Wagler was deflected opposite the team bench near mid-court; senior Kip Fougerousse snared the ball and drove to the rim. His only score of the contest came with a free throw to boot which he made to push the home team back in front by four.
Down two possessions, Mullen hit his third trey as the buzzer sounded to account for the final points of the evening as the freshman and his teammates came up one tally short.
Hale managed a game-high 21, just two though in the last quarter, as Riggins and the Cougar defensive clan certainly made his night difficult. Hart added nine on four timely field goals.
North Daviess got 11 from both Riggins and Mullen, and the latter added a team-high six rebounds. Wagler and Knepp split a dozen down the middle.
Class 2A No. 3 ranked Linton remains unbeaten in the SWIAC while North Daviess dropped their first conference game. Now 8-6 overall on the season, the schedule gets even tougher as ND visits 1A No. 3 Barr-Reeve tonight for the last Buggy Bowl on Kavanaugh Kourt.
North Daviess did improve to 12-1 at the JV level with a 31-26 victory.