Edward Bowlby led three Railers in double figures as Lincoln picked
up its seventh win in a row, a solid and convincing 57-32 decision
over Taylorville. The win improves Lincoln's all-time record at the
Classic to 43-6. No other team has won even as many as 30 games over
the course of the 10 years. The Railers' record goes to 15-3 and 6-1
in the Central State Eight.
Hoping to avoid complacency after handling the Tornadoes by 30
earlier in the season, the Railers went inside for their early
scores, the first two being baskets from Bowlby. Unlike the matchup
in December when the Railers led 23-2 after the first quarter,
Taylorville fought back with a 6-0 run to take a 6-4 lead. That lead
did not last long.
With the return of junior Joey Olden to the lineup at the 5:19
mark, after missing all but the first three games of the season due
to a broken arm, the Railers went on a 16-2 run to close out the
first quarter, led by Bowlby and sophomore Gavin Block. After Max
Cook started the run with a 3-pointer from the top of the key,
Bowlby and Block took over. Block hit his first 3 of the night and
then tossed a perfect lob pass to Bowlby, who converted off the
Ahead 12-8, Block got another shot to go down, followed by his
second 3 of the night. The Railers closed the quarter in style with
Bowlby hitting a 3 as the quarter came to a close.
It wasn't just those two leading Lincoln to the first-quarter
lead. On both offense and defense, the Railers were passing the ball
about as well as has been seen this year, while the defense was
quick to the ball, forcing one turnover after another. When
Taylorville did get a shot, the ones that didn't go in were usually
snatched down by the Railers, led by the newly energetic Block, who
most times was outleaping everyone for the rebound.
The second quarter played a lot like the first, with Taylorville
scoring first. Tyler Horchem hit the scorebook with a 3, followed by
a strong move down the lane by Cook, resulting in a layup. It seems
every game features Cook showing more and more how dangerous he is
with the ball in his hands going down the lane. Bowlby extended the
Railer lead to 27-11 with a strong offensive rebound and putback.
The Railers ended the scoring with another make from Bowlby and, to
make things come full circle, Horchem closed the scoring just how he
started it, by draining a 3.
With Lincoln up 32-14 at the half, it seemed they had reached
that point very effortlessly. I'm not saying there was no effort,
but everything seemed to come easily for Lincoln in the first 16
[to top of second column]
The Tornadoes (10-7, 0-6) came out with some energy to start the
third quarter, trading buckets with the Railers, but not getting
closer than 37-21. Will Podbelsek ignited a 10-0 run with a
3-pointer that was followed up by another Bowlby basket. The Railer
Nation in attendance saved the biggest cheer of the night for when
Joey Olden hit a 3, his first scoring since coming back from injury.
Horchem, used to scoring from behind the arc as Olden did, switched
things up by putting one off the glass from the low block.
The addition of Olden was a welcome sight to everyone pulling for
the Red and Green. There may have been no one happier that coach
"Joey was a little rusty out there, but that's to be expected,"
Alexander said. "But, our top three guys out there are playing 32
minutes a night, and we have to find a way to get them off the
The fourth quarter was a chance to get the starters on the bench,
and Payton Ebelherr and Adam Conrady joined in the scoring parade.
It was a quick game as only five free throws were shot, four of
those by Lincoln.
Bowlby's 16 points led the way, with Block and Cook each scoring
11. Horchem added eight points, and Podbelsek, Olden and Ebelherr
each made a 3-pointer. Conrady's basket accounted for the rest of
the Lincoln scoring on the night.
The Railers are back in Chatham Wednesday night to take on the
lone non-CS8 team, the Highland Bulldogs. Highland fell to
Jacksonville in the night's first game. The Wednesday game is the
first contest of the session and will start at 5 p.m.
Bowlby 7 1-2 16, MCook 4 0-0 11,Block 4 1-2 11, Horchem 3 0-0 8,
Podbelsek 1 0-0 3, Olden 1 0-0 3, Ebelherr 1 0-0 3, Conrady 1 0-0 2,
Perry 0 0-0 0, WCook 0 0-0 0, Dunovsky 0 0-0 0, Krusz 0 0-0 0. Team
22 2-4 57. 3-point field goals 11 (MCook 3, Horchem 2, Block 2,
Podbelsek, Olden, Ebelherr, Bowlby).
Wilhour 11, Jackson 8, Rhymes 4, Fulk 4, Livingston 3, McCristy
2. Team 13 1-1 32. 3-point field goals 5 (Wilhour 3, Livingston,
Scoring by quarters:
LCHS 20-12-15-10 57
Taylorville 8-6-10-8 32
[By JEFF BENJAMIN]
Jeff Benjamin's Railer basketball articles