For the first time this season, the Railers do
not play on a Friday. It is the first Friday off for the Railers
since before Thanksgiving.
The only game on tap this weekend for Lincoln
is Saturday night's visit to Springfield High School.
The scheduling oddity, combined with two
intense games against Sacred Heart-Griffin and Springfield
Southeast, prompted Lincoln coach Neil Alexander to give his team
Monday off this week.
"With the type of weekend we had last weekend,
we didn't practice on Monday," said Alexander. "The only difference
is, we'll have our last practice on Friday instead of Thursday.
Preparation hasn't changed any. We just rotated days."
Struggling Senators still scare Alexander
Alexander has never been the type to take any team for granted,
no matter their struggles, and the Senators are no different,
especially not after their recent showings.
Springfield took favored Jacksonville to
overtime last weekend before falling 48-40. The Senators enter
Friday's game with Rochester with a record of 2-19. In an earlier
meeting this season, on Jan. 4, Lincoln won at Roy S. Anderson
Gymnasium by a 52-29 tally.
Alexander pointed to the addition of Isiah
Nelson to the Senator lineup as his top concern on Saturday. Nelson,
who leads Springfield in scoring, didn't play in the first semester
"They're playing much better," said Alexander.
"They have Isiah Nelson back and he's scoring really well. I think I
saw where he's had 36 3s in only half of the season. He shoots
the ball exceptionally well, so we've got to find him. They've got
other young kids who can play.
"They took Jacksonville to overtime last
weekend. They're playing much better. Even though they only have two
wins, they're a dangerous team."
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Calling on Krusz
Saturday's critical 47-27 win over
Springfield Southeast had an unsung hero for Alexander and the Railers: junior forward Austin Krusz.
Krusz came off the bench to play extensive
minutes against the Spartans when starting forward Edward Bowlby
encountered early foul trouble.
Krusz had the difficult task of bodying up
Southeast center Jalen Henry, arguably the Central State Eight's
premier post player. It was a thankless job, but by holding Henry to
10 points, Krusz played a significant role in the victory.
Despite only scoring sparingly, Alexander said
Krusz fills an important role on this Railer squad.
"He's got a role and he plays it exceptionally
well," said Alexander of Krusz. "He has to come in, defend, be
aggressive, be physical and rebound. He's played that role really
"He had a great game on Saturday night for us.
Looking back on Friday night, we didn't get him in, and we probably
should have used him a little bit more. But he has accepted his role
and he plays it well. He is a great teammate. He just does
everything that's asked of him, and every team needs guys like