The loss leaves Lincoln (2-5,
0-1) winless in its last four games, the last three of which they
have lost by a total of four points. It was certainly a game that
the Railers had a chance to win, but with missed opportunities
combining with some very physical play, the Railers left Rochester
hoping to end their losing streak next Friday at
the game got very physical and chippy at the end would probably be
doing a disservice to both of those words. The game featured two
second-half technicals, a Rochester fan being escorted from the game
late in the contest, and a Lincoln coaching staff questioning some
of the calls, and the comments, from the officiating crew.
The game was tight throughout
the first quarter as the Railers made their first-ever trip to the RAC.
As they've done many times this season, it was Van Hook
getting the red-clad Railers on the board first with a top-of-the-key jumper for
It seemed obvious from the
start that Rochester coach John Angelo felt the best way to handle
the Railers was to keep the ball away from sophomore Max Cook. To do
that, Angelo assigned all-everything wide receiver Zach Grant to
guard Cook. Lincoln used Grant's overaggressiveness against him as
Cook's back-door cut and layup put the Railers up 5-3.
Rochester got an early show
from Seth McMinn. The Rockets' leading scorer on the night, McMinn
hit his first two 3s of the night, including the second to put
Rochester up 6-5. The game swung back and forth, with Cook's rebound
basket giving the Railers their final points of the first quarter to
tie the matchup at 12. Matt Yeck's bucket provided the two-point
advantage the Rockets would carry into the second at 14-12
A pivotal point of the contest
occurred just 31 seconds into the second quarter as Van Hook picked
up his second foul, going to the bench and remaining there for the
rest of the half. During the early stages of his trip to the bench,
Rochester was in the midst of a 7-0 run to take a 19-12 lead.
Down seven, the Railers
stormed back thanks to an acrobatic baseline drive by Cook that led
to an old-fashioned three-point play, and Jake Olson and Will Podbelsek draining
3s from the corner, and just like that,
Lincoln had surged ahead 21-19.
Rochester wasted no time in
tying the contest at 21, but Podbelsek hit his second in a row from
the same corner to push the Railer lead to three. Up 24-23, Lincoln's
final points of the half came from senior Jordan Gesner, whose drive
and pull-up from about 15 feet sent Lincoln
into the locker room with a 26-23 lead. So, the Railers had
weathered the storm with their leading scorer on the bench,
outscoring the Rockets 14-9 with Van Hook out.
Just as McMinn had started
off, he came out the same in the third, tying the contest with his
third 3 on the night. After a Gesner runner put Lincoln back on
top, it was another 7-0 run by the Rockets to put the hosts up
33-28. The Railers caught a break while looking for any kind of
offense in the third quarter as Rochester was assessed a technical
foul for having too many players on the court. Cook hit one of the
two free throws, and on the ensuing possession, Van Hook's
thunderous dunk on the alley-oop lob brought the Railers to within a
pair at 33-31 as the game headed to the fourth.
With the alternating
possession giving the ball to Rochester to start the fourth, Lincoln
Neil Alexander crossed up the Rockets (1-2, 1-1), playing man-to-man
style pressure on the inbounds to start the quarter, forcing a
turnover that gave the Railers a chance to tie. However, as the
theme of the night seemed to continue, Lincoln just could not take
advantage of the opportunity. Yeck connected from long range and,
from a chance to tie, the Railers found themselves down five at
After a Gesner back-door layup
got the game to 36-33, the Rockets made three of their next four
free throws to go up by six. The physical play by Rochester
prevented the Railers from any type of sustained offensive pressure
on the basket. Much of the Lincoln offense consisted of passing the
ball around the perimeter, searching for any crack in the Rocket
defense. Of course, the apparent pushing and grabbing by the
defense seemed to make it difficult for the visitors to find any
open lanes to the basket. A steal by Olson led to an easy lay-in
for Gesner. Another McMinn basket pushed the lead back to six at
Shortly after Podbelsek picked
up his fifth foul, the complaining and questioning from the Railer
bench reached its boiling point as a technical foul was whistled
and, at that point, any chance of a Lincoln comeback seemed to go
out the door. McMinn hit one of the two shots to finish with a game-high 16 points and put the Rockets up 42-35.
The Railers would not
go out without a fight. In the final 30 seconds, Cook's two free
throws, a free throw from Gesner and Van Hook's 3 at the buzzer
got them close, but time ran out and Rochester celebrated a first-ever win over the Railers.
[to top of second column]
Lincoln was led by Van Hook,
who scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds. Cook joined him in
double figures with 10 points. Gesner finished with a strong game,
adding nine points and seven rebounds, while Podbelsek scored all
eight of his points in the first half. Olson scored only three but
was credited with five steals and four assists. Tommy Harris, Matt
Hays and Edward Bowlby played but did not score, with Hays
contributing four rebounds.
If you get the opportunity,
check out the replay of this contest and you'll see why the coaching
staff was upset with some of the officiating. It's never the
officials who win or lose a game, although there are circumstances
where it can be made more difficult, depending on which way the sound
of the Acme Thunder Whistle goes.
Another disappointing loss for
the Railers. It was another game where if a couple of things had
gone the other way, this team could be 5-2, not the other way
around. However, don't give up on this team yet. They may not be
coming out on top on the scoreboard, but they won't quit.
Railers do not have time to hang their heads, as a CS8 doubleheader
awaits them next weekend with a road trip to Jacksonville on Friday
night and their final home game of 2011 on Saturday night as they
Van Hook 4-14 1-2 11, Cook 3-6
4-5 10, Gesner 4-10 1-2 9, Podbelsek 3-6 0-0 8, Olson 1-4 0-0 3,
Harris 0-1 0-0 0, Hays 0-1 0-0 0, Bowlby 0-0 0-0 0. Team 15-42 6-9
41. 3-point shooting 5-22 (Podbelsek 2-4, Van Hook 2-8, Olson 1-4,
Cook 0-1, Harris 0-1, Gesner 0-4). Rebounds 28 (Gesner 7), assists
9 (Olson 4), steals 7 (Olson 5), turnovers 9.
McMinn 16, Yeck 11, Houston 5,
Grant 5, Ferguson 3, Saccaro 2. Team 15-33 5-12 42. 3-point
shooting 7-16 (McMinn 3, Yeck 2, Houston, Grant). Rebounds 27,
assists 10, steals 2, turnovers 12.
Scoring by quarters:
LCHS 12-14-5-10 41
Rochester 12-9-10-9 42
An update on some LCHS alumni
from the collegiate courts:
Ben Brackney (Bucknell 6-4): GP – 8, FG%
– 56, 3FG% – 67, RPG – 1.6, PPG
– 3.3. High game of 12.
Nathaniel Smith (Loras 2-6):
GP – 8, FG% – 21, 3FG% – 22, RPG – 2.5, PPG
– 2.0. High game of 10.
Louie Schonauer (Nova SE 3-3):
GP – 6, FG% – 31, 3FG% – 27, RPG – 2.3, PPG – 4.7. High game of 13.
Jordan Nelson (Evansville
3-4): GP – 5, FG% – 50, 3FG% – 40, RPG – 1.0, PPG – 3.6. High game
Jeff Benjamin's Railer basketball articles