Apparently, on this Friday
night, the oddity was that there was no strange occurrence. Lincoln
fans were treated to a dazzling defensive effort for three quarters,
an offense that seemed to find its feet again, and a 60-42 win that
keeps the Railers undefeated in Central State Eight play.
(12-2, 5-0) put four players in double figures (as opposed to
Tuesday's game, when only four players scored) with a balanced
scoring attack. However, on this night, the defense led the way. The
defense that seemed unable to prevent Springfield from controlling
the tempo earlier in the week exhibited quick feet and quicker hands
in tipping away pass after pass, turning the turnovers into points.
Coming into the contest, sophomore Jordan Nelson was Lincoln's
second-leading scorer. Nelson's biggest contribution against SHG
came on the defensive end. Each SHG possession in the first quarter
seemed to end with Nelson tipping a pass, making a steal or coming
down with a rebound. His first-quarter dominance also carried over
into the offensive end as he scored Lincoln's first five points.
As expected, coach Neil Alexander was pleased with Nelson's
defensive effort. "I think tonight was Jordan's best game of the
season," Alexander said. "Even if he doesn't score, we need him to
step up defensively, and from that, he will get four, six points a
After being tied at seven to end the first quarter, Lincoln
trailed 11-10. It was at that point that SHG (6-7, 1-4) became
another victim of one of those typical Railer Runs. Lincoln
proceeded to score 30 of the next 32 points to lead 40-13. At the
end of the third quarter, the Railers enjoyed their largest lead of
the night at 45-15.
Again, defense was the key as Stephen Hott and Adrian Cave, SHG's
two leading scorers, were held to only three free throws from Cave
in the first three quarters.
Hott and Cave combined to score 19 of SHG's 27 in the fourth
quarter, a period that saw the Cyclones almost double their output
from the first three quarters. The Railers held SHG to seven, six
and two points respectively by the end of the third quarter.
Lincoln's offense exhibited much more patience in their offense,
passing the ball seven or eight times while looking for the best
shot. In previous games, there were moments it appeared they were
settling for shots.
The leading scorer on the night was Louis Schonauer. He finished
with 13 points, including three from long range. Eight of
Schonauer's points came during the 30-2 run in the middle portion of
the game. After being held scoreless Tuesday, Ben Brackney had a
solid game, running the point for a while, and finishing with 12
Nathaniel Smith scored 11 points, with four coming on easy
baskets after turnovers and two late on the "oop" to Brackney's
"alley." All the talk about Jordan Nelson's defense made his game
even more complete as he finished with 10 points.
Senior Kyle Young finished with eight points. Young could have
had more but struggled at the free-throw line, missing five of his
nine shots. The senior also shot in bad luck, as at least three
layups or close shots just didn't get the friendly roll.
Wes Neece converted a layup and free throw for his three points;
Austin Kirby scored his first two varsity points on a jumper in the
lane; and Jordan Gesner added a fourth-quarter free throw.
[to top of second column]
The junior varsity for Lincoln dropped another close contest to
open the night, falling to SHG, in overtime, 66-59.
Lincoln will be back in action Friday night as the Railers come
back home to take on Karl Madison and Springfield Lanphier. The
contest will tip at 7:30 and, as always, you can catch the game on
WLCN-FM 96.3 and here at
LINCOLN (34) -- Schonauer 5 0-0 13, Brackney 3 5-6 12, Smith 5
0-0 11, Nelson 3 2-2 10, Young 2 4-9 8, Neece 1 1-1 3, Kirby 1 0-0
2, Gesner 0 1-2 1, Turner 0 0-0 0, Frick 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0,
Anderson 0 0-0 0, Fisher 0 0-0 0, Coyne 0 0-0 0. Team 20 13-20 60.
3-point FG: Team 7 (Schonauer 3, Nelson 2, Smith, Brackney).
SHG (42) -- Cave 11, Hott 11, Bloink 8, Burton-Smith 4, Call 3,
Hubbard 2, Niehaus 2, Eagleton 1.
End of first quarter -- LCHS 7, SHG 7
Halftime -- LCHS 22, SHG 13
End of third quarter -- LCHS 45, SHG 15
Other Railer notes:
Of Lincoln's 199
free throws on the season, Kyle Young has shot 95.
This is the second
time the Lincoln defense has held an opponent to only two points
in a quarter. (The first was versus Taylorville on Dec. 5, 2008.
In that game, it was the third quarter as well).
This is the second
time this season the Railers have had four players in double
figures. (The first was versus O'Fallon on Nov. 28, 2008.)
continue to move up the list of all-time 3-pointers made,
including Jordan Nelson with 78 (tied at No. 16 with Brandon
Booth and Eric Graue), Louis Schonauer 72 (No. 19), and Ben
Brackney 66 (No. 20).
The schedule is
out for the 2009 Meijer Winter Classic in Chatham. The Railer
games are as follows:
Monday, Jan. 19,
-- vs. Alton
Wednesday, Jan. 21,
-- vs. Highland
Friday, Jan. 23,
-- vs. Taylorville
Saturday, Jan. 24,
-- vs. Jacksonville
Monday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.
-- vs. Glenwood
[Special report by JEFF BENJAMIN]