ELKINS - Through three-plus quarters on Wednesday night, Lincoln controlled both the tempo and scoreboard against Elkins.
But a gritty effort down the stretch allowed the Tigers to earn a hard-fought 59-55 Big 10 Conference victory in front of an enthusiastic gathering at Richard P. Simmons Memorial Gymnasium.
Both teams played with high emotion in the contest, which the Cougars led from the start and didn't relinquish the lead until the fourth quarter when Tyler Shreve scored on layup to put the Tigers up by two.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Joey Kittle
Elkins High’s Logan Phillips attempts to dribble around Lincoln’s Cole DeBerry (23) on Wednesday night.
With the game tied at 55, Braden Hammond then put Elkins in front for good with a pair of free throws with 58 seconds remaining.
After Lincoln was unable to score on its end, Shreve sealed the win with another layup with 14 seconds left.
"It was a hard-fought game that we found a way to win," Elkins assistant coach Brandon Simmons said. "Lincoln is a well-coached team and forced us to play its style of basketball.
"But our kids stuck together and gutted out the victory."
Logan Phillips, who was coming off a 38-point effort in last week's win over Philip Barbour, finished with 16 points, despite battling foul trouble, to lead the Tigers. Hammond added 15, Colby Gainer 14 and Shreve 10.
Gainer and Phillips also had seven rebounds each.
Frank Spadafore tossed in 15 points to pace the Cougars, followed by Cody Carpenter with 12 and Jarrod Kellar with 10.
Lincoln led 14-11 after one quarter and carried a 28-21 advantage into the intermission.
The Cougars led by as many as eight points in the third before Elkins rallied to cut the deficit to 40-38 entering the final frame.
The Tigers (2-0, 2-0 Big 10) will host sectional foe Hampshire at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Lincoln dropped to 1-2 and 0-2 in league play.