First, they got the win, as well as getting the chance to
play a team they would not normally run across until state
tournament play. Also, the Railers were provided the opportunity to
see how officials from downstate would call a game.
The contest was very physical, but the Railers were the
beneficiary of the number of calls, as they went to the line 18 times
compared with five for Carbondale. Is that to say the game was
officiated in favor of the Railers? Not necessarily, as Lincoln made
a concerted effort to get the ball down low, take the ball to the
basket and force contact. As the aggressors, Lincoln got to the
If you are familiar with my writings on the Railers, you know I like
to talk about the Railer Runs. Saturday was filled with those runs
as Lincoln, the No. 8 team in Class 3A in this week's poll, had
runs of seven or more in each quarter. In fact, Lincoln scored 35 of
their 55 points (64 percent) during these four runs. The most
productive run for Carbondale -- five.
As Lincoln (24-3) and their fans have seen before, it was one of
those games where senior Kyle Young had no equal on the inside. The
only time something good didn't happen for Young when he got the
ball down low was when he decided to pass off and continue running
Young scored Lincoln's first five points and then hit a shot down
low to put the Railers up for good at 10-9. Sophomore Jordan Nelson
rounded out the first quarter scoring with two from 3-point
range to extend the lead to 16-9 at the end of the first quarter.
The scoring in the second quarter, at least early on, was all
Carbondale. Five in a row from the Terriers cut the Railer lead to
17-16. The Railers went over five minutes before scoring their first
points of the period. However, another Railer run to end the
quarter, four from Kyle Young and a pair of free throws from Ben
Brackney, put the halftime lead for the Railers at 24-16.
The free throws from Brackney were his only scoring of the night.
His biggest contributions were his rebounding, especially on the
defensive end, and his ability to break the Carbondale press and
provide a substantial amount of ballhandling.
Young led the Railers
at halftime with 13 points.
As we've seen too many times, the third quarter did not start in
good fashion for the Red and Green. Carbondale (14-9) jumped out
early with a quick four-spot and cut the eight-point lead in half. A
free throw from Kyle Young was followed by a Terrier free throw to
keep the lead at four.
Alex Anderson, who has really made his mark over the past two
games, and had a 3 in the first quarter and continued his
marksmanship by drilling two more from long range to stretch the
Lincoln lead to double figures for the first time at 31-21.
Another easy basket from Kyle Young was followed up by a
from Louie Schonauer and a layup from Jordan Nelson and, just like
that, Lincoln was in control 38-21 thanks to the 13-0 run.
The fourth quarter started with Lincoln on top 40-26, and for the
rest of the game, Carbondale got no closer than 12. The final eight
minutes belonged to Louie Schonauer and sophomore Nathaniel Smith.
Schonauer had six in the quarter, while Smith, on a basket and five
free throws, scored all seven of his points in the quarter.
The Lincoln defense was stifling on this night. Carbondale was
forced into mistake after mistake and, just like the night before
against SHG, the Railers were able to take advantage of their
As mentioned, Kyle Young led the way with 18 points, followed by
a nice balance of scoring as Louie Schonauer and Alex Anderson added
nine points. Jordan Nelson scored eight, while Nathaniel Smith had
seven. Kyle Frick and Ben Brackney each scored two, while Wes Neece
played, didn't score but certainly made his presence known on the
[to top of second column]
So, all in all, a good trip to Carbondale. Other than a bus
driver who followed the speed limit (if that limit was 55, so
nothing like getting to the gym at 5:45 for a 6:15 JV start) and
a wardrobe misplacement for one of our coaches, it was a fun way
to spend Valentine's Day 2009. Hey, if nothing else, I can
always remind my wife that I took her on a trip for Valentine's
Day. Too bad for her, she had to be trapped in a car with me
during the long ride.
It is hard to believe the regular season has only three games
left, but two of those are at home. It seems just like yesterday
we were getting ready for the first game of the year, just days
before Thanksgiving. These next three are important as a
conference title is at stake, but this team is looking at
loftier goals. Not that the Central State Eight title isn't
important, but this squad is looking at playing their last game
of the season not in Bloomington or Decatur or Springfield. This
team wants to see if it will play in Peoria, and if it can play
in Peoria, anything can happen.
The Lincoln JV lost their contest 55-44.
Lincoln will be in action again on Friday as they hit the road
for the final time in the regular season and will take on
the Lions from Springfield Lanphier. The contest is scheduled to
tip around 7:30 p.m. and, as always, you can catch the game on
WLCN-FM 96.3 and here at
LINCOLN (55) --
Young 6 6-8 18, Schonauer 3 2-3 9, Anderson 3 0-0 9, Nelson 3
0-0 8, Smith 1 5-5 7, Brackney 0 2-2 2, Frick 1 0-0 2, Neece 0
0-0 0. Team 17 15-18 55.
3-point FG: Team 6 (Anderson 3, Nelson 2,
Carbondale (39) --
McDade 12, Neal 11, Woodson 7, Wheeler 6, Blaise 2, Warren 1.
End of first quarter -- LCHS 16, Carbondale 9
Halftime -- LCHS 24, Carbondale 16
End of third quarter -- LCHS 40, Carbondale 26
[Special report by JEFF BENJAMIN]