The victory extends the Railer winning streak to nine as they
improve their season mark to 17-3, 7-1 in Central State Eight play.
If history is any indication, Lincoln-Glenwood games are
low-scoring, physical contests, with the first team to get to 40 the
team that comes out on top. Friday night was no disappointment.
After Glenwood scored first, it took the Railers until almost
halfway through the first quarter to hit the scoreboard, when Max
Cook drained a 3. It was another Cook basket that put Lincoln on top
5-2. The junior was well on his way to another big night, both
scoring and floor game, when he found a cutting Edward Bowlby
flashing down the lane. Bowlby hit the shot to extend the advantage
to five. Unfortunately, Cook's name was prominent in the game on the
defensive end as well, as he picked up his second foul with over two
minutes left in the first. Glenwood was playing without their leader
in Peyton Allen as he recovers from a serious case of mono, and now
Lincoln would have to proceed with Cook on the bench with foul
It was a moment that seemed to give the Titans (12-8, 3-6)
confidence as Glenwood cut the lead to one, thanks to a couple of
baskets, including a jumper as time expired from Ethan Hunt, who
grabbed an offensive rebound that hit the floor while the Railers
A jumper in the lane from Craig Fuchs put Glenwood back on top at
8-7 to start the second quarter, a quarter that saw coach Neil
Alexander reinsert Cook into the lineup with two fouls. His stay on
the court lasted less than two minutes. At the 6:07 mark, Cook
picked up his third foul and was off to the bench for the rest of
the half. That's when Block's career night lifted off.
Block started the Lincoln scoring with a 3 from the right corner.
After a Joey Olden 3, Lincoln's only other baskets of the half came
from Block, as the Railers went into the half up 17-13. With scoring
like that, it's no surprise the shooting was, well, let's say, a bit
off. The Railers were a respectable 7 of 17, going 3 of 11 from
3-point range, while Glenwood made just six of their 19 shots,
missing all seven of their 3-point attempts.
So, at the start of the third quarter, the big question was how
long Cook would be on the bench. Not long, as he started the second
half. Cook's ability to play with those three fouls, and not pick up
a fourth, was a big reason the Railers were able to do what they
needed in the second half. After another Block basket and a pair of
free throws from Bowlby put Lincoln up 21-15, the Titans put
together their best stretch of the game. Junior Tyler Brown hit two
3s from the left side to tie the game at 21. Tyler Horchem, who has
a knack for being a streaky shooter, hit his first 3 of the night to
put the Railers back up 24-21. Glenwood answered right back with a 3
from Hunt, but Horchem struck again as time ticked away at the end
of the quarter, putting Lincoln up for good at 27-24.
Lincoln's defense, which has being allowing just a bit over 30
points a game during the month of January, looked to stay on that
pace Friday night. Without their main cog in Allen, the Titans
struggled to find any offensive rhythm. Of course, some of that
falls at the feet of a Lincoln defense that's playing as well as it
has all season. This is a Lincoln team that is tougher than teams
we've seen in the past, and games like Friday night, where maybe
they would have been intimidated by a bigger, stronger Glenwood, did
not get away from them.
[to top of second column]
The fourth quarter was all about seeing Lincoln at the
free-throw line. Fuchs brought Glenwood to within one at the
start of the period, but a Block basket extended the lead. Cook
stretched it even further by making all three free throws after
being fouled behind the arc in the deep left corner. Up 32-28,
it was Block putting his stamp on the game from the charity
stripe. The sophomore scored Lincoln's next 10 points, all from
the free-throw line, while Glenwood could get no closer than six
in that stretch. Block's last two free throws came after a
technical foul was assessed to Glenwood coach Todd Blakeman.
The Railer defense did a fantastic job on Miles McAdams. The
Glenwood quarterback, who is always good for big shots against
Lincoln, was held scoreless until late in the game, when his 3
dropped their deficit to single digits, but a late basket from
Bowlby marked the final score and margin of 11.
When you read these articles, I'm sure a lot of folks look to the
end of the story for the scoring. On Friday night, a better game may
not have been played by someone who did not score a point. Senior
Will Podbelsek was held scoreless, but that certainly did not affect
the effect he had on his teammates.
"Well, there's one thing for sure," Alexander said, "you won't
find anyone out there with a bigger heart than Will. We don't have
to worry, because he gives everything he has, and sometimes even a
little bit more."
It was a game that Lincoln needed. After two relatively easy wins
over Taylorville and Highland, a close game gives you an idea of how
this team will handle the pressure of playing a tight game,
especially in enemy territory. If the Railers can take care of
business Saturday morning against Rochester, the stage will be set
for a championship matchup against Jacksonville later that night.
Block's first game over 20 points (21) led the way, with Cook
finishing with eight. Horchem and Bowlby each tallied six points,
with Olden chipping in the other three. Lincoln certainly won this
game at the free-throw line by going 15 of 16.
A doubleheader awaits the Railers on Saturday with a 10 a.m.
matchup against Rochester, the first game of the morning session.
Then it's the loooonnnngggg wait until the final game of the
tournament, a potential title tilt with Jacksonville, scheduled to
start at 8 p.m. If you're not doing anything, come see what the
Railers have been up to. It's always a big lift for the team to see
a good turnout from the Railer Nation.
Block 5 10-10 21, Cook 2 3-3 8, Bowlby 2 2-2 6, Horchem 2 0-0 6,
Olden 1 0-0 3, Podbelsek 0 0-0 0, Krusz 0 0-0 0. Team 12 15-16 44.
3-point field goals 5 (Horchem 2, Cook, Olden, Block).
Harper 8, Fuchs 6, Brown 6, Hunt 5, Helm 5, McAdams 3. Team 12
3-4 33. 3-point field goals 3 (Brown 2, McAdams).
Scoring by quarters:
LCHS 7-10-10-17 44
Glenwood 6-7-11-9 33
[By JEFF BENJAMIN]
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