LINCOLN — Chelsea Murphy’s three 3-pointers and 15 points helped the Warsaw Wildcats beat Lincoln 51-16 in a nonconference girls basketball game on Monday at Lincoln High School.
“They were playing back so I figured I’d take it,” she said.
Murphy hit two early 3-pointers for Warsaw’s first six points of the game. She hit another midway through the second quarter and Hayley Spry knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.
Murphy said her goal is to hit seven in one game, which would tie the school record currently held by her aunt.
“I’m hoping to get it Thursday night since I didn’t get it (Monday),” she said. “Just to get on the record board is all I’ve focused on.”
Though she ultimately fell short of that goal Monday, her two early shots got Warsaw off to a quick 6-2 lead.
“She got things rolling there in the first quarter,” said Lincoln coach John Crull. “I knew she could do it. That’s the kind of girl we need to keep out of transition. We tried to play a 1-2-2 and guard the 3-point line, and they just rotated the ball quicker than we could move it.”
Murphy’s 3-pointers were followed by a Jessica Blankinship basket inside and a steal and layup from Mackensie Wallace. After a jumper from Spry, Blankinship scored the next six points, hitting a putback and a pair of jumpers. Warsaw hit 8 of 17 from the field in the first quarter and 4 of 6 to start the second.
“Just quick ball movement,” said Warsaw coach Matt Dove. “Trying to get inside-outside — a little less inside than outside it looked like — but the girls came out ready to play and moved the ball better than we have all year.”
Blankinship scored eight points in the first quarter.
“She was posting up and got open,” Murphy said. “We usually never get to see her because she’s got a bunch of big girls on her, but she did really well in there.”
In the meantime, the Lincoln offense was struggling. The Lady Cardinals scored three in the first half, all on free throws by Allison Spunaugle, and missed their first 22 shots from the field until Spunaugle hit a putback with 2:16 left in the third quarter.
“I thought that we didn’t show a lot of patience on the offensive end,” Crull said. “When they were playing a 1-3-1 zone and they know who our shooters are so they were covering the perimeter pretty well and we just didn’t show enough patience. They were pretty aggressive defensively and we needed to move the basketball a little bit better. We got it inside a few times but those shots weren’t falling.”
Warsaw’s defense didn’t make things easy for Lincoln. The Lady Cardinals turned the ball over 19 times in the game, including 13 steals by the Wildcats. Wallace had four steals. Blankinship and Erica Weaver each had three.
“We were on our toes,” Murphy said. “We’re usually flat and arms halfway up, but we were ready to win. We needed it.”
Warsaw limited Lincoln center Meghan Cooke to six points with four of those coming in the fourth quarter when Warsaw had its junior varsity on the floor.
“We did a wonderful job on her defensively, sometimes double-teaming, sometimes even triple-teaming her,” Dove said. “Even our shortest player out there had a hand up in her face.”
Warsaw outscored Lincoln 14-0 in the second quarter with Murphy scoring seven. Warsaw led 32-3 at halftime.
Weaver opened the third quarter with a jumper, Spry hit a 3-pointer and Murphy hit a basket inside to give Warsaw its biggest lead of the game, 39-3.
Lincoln went on an 8-1 run capped by a hook shot by Cooke to make it 40-11 before Weaver hit a putback to put Warsaw ahead 42-11 at the end of three.
Warsaw (5-18) will close the regular season at home against Versailles at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Lincoln (3-19) will close out the regular season, hosting Hermitage at 6 p.m. Friday.