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Basketball: Pinecrest Academy girls overwhelm Mount de Sales to reach second round
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Pinecrest Academy's Maddie Lynch attempts a shot against Mount de Sales on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. - photo by Brian Paglia

The Pinecrest Academy girls basketball team advanced to the second round of the Class 1A private school state tournament after a 63-30 victory over Mount de Sales on Friday night.

Pinecrest (16-8) got the usual stellar output from Regina Metz, but it was Maddie Lynch that was the x-factor for the Paladins.

“Maddie played lights out,” Pinecrest Academy head coach Ken Lacy said. “[Metz], she’s averaging 27, so that’s pretty much a normal night for her. I said about three weeks ago that I really felt that our true success is determined by Maddie, and she’s been averaging double digits since I said that. She was lights out tonight.”

Metz finished the night with 26 points, while Lynch scored 23, 13 of which came in the second half.

“I owe all that to my teammates,” Lynch said. “We run our fast breaks, and if I sprint down the floor, they’ll get the ball up to me. I owe it all to them really. I just guess I was on fire tonight, which I’m very thankful for. I never ever want to take credit for anything I do, because I know it comes from my teammates and how hard they work.”

Defensively, the Paladins prevented the Cavaliers (11-16, 4-7) from ever finding any sort of flow on offense. They forced them into 21 turnovers, and limited them to just 36 percent (13-for-36) from the field.

“I didn’t feel like Mount de Sales had an answer for what we were doing defensively,” Lacy said. “We kinda felt going in they didn’t have too many shooters. So we just made sure to keep them in front of us, not let them drive on us, not let them get anything easy.”

The Paladins are now set up for a matchup with Prince Avenue Christian, a team that went 24-2 this season.

“We just like to take each game and learn from it more,” Metz said. “So just take this momentum, and work on keeping the details and keeping our eyes on the prize. We know it’s do-or-die from here on out.”