Railers sweep the 2018 Lincoln Eaton Basketball Tournament as
varsity wins 65-33 and JV win 62-45 over Cahokia
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[November 28, 2018]
The Lincoln Eaton Basketball
Tournament featuring four schools - Lincoln, Springfield, Cahokia
and Limestone - has come to completion with LCHS Railers teams
coming out on top. Each school’s JV and Varsity teams played each
other in the three-day tournament that provided lots of excitement
for basketball fans
Varsity Lincoln Railers vs Cahokia Comanches
The Lincoln Railers dominated the Cahokia Comanches Saturday night
at Roy S. Anderson Gymnasium. When it was all said and done Lincoln
clinched the tournament championship with a 65-33 win over Cahokia.
The Railers are off to a 3-0 record to start the season and this
young group is playing hard and having fun.
Wyatt Collier goes to the free throw line to shoot
the technical shots for the Railers. Collier was a perfect 2-for-2
at the line.
Every night of the tournament it’s been a solid team effort from
Coach Neil Alexander’s squad, however, a different player each night
has topped the scoreboard in points.
The first night in the 64-49 win over Limestone, it was Jermaine
Hamlin leading the scoring with 18 points.
On night number two it was Kaden Froebe’s 22 points that guided the
Railers to a 63-33 win over Springfield.
Junior Kaden Froebe is handed his all-tournament team
plaque. Froebe finished the tournament with 52 points, 13 rebounds
and 9 steals.
And Saturday night the spotlight belonged to Kameron Whiteman.
Whiteman scored a career-high 26 points to lead Lincoln to a 65-33
win over Cahokia. Whiteman nailed six three-pointers and every time
he tossed the ball up from behind the arc, the crowd was into it.
Whiteman might have missed the three at the first quarter buzzer,
only because the ball literally spun in and out of the rim, but the
junior took another shot at it just as the halftime buzzer was ready
to sound. His three to close out the half was nothing but net and he
definitely had “the touch” in those hands versus Cahokia.
It’s a ton of fun to watch a player on the court when he’s “feeling
it.” Whiteman was fun to watch Saturday night, but then again, so
was the rest of this Railer bunch.
Senior Jermaine Hamlin picks up his all-tournament
team award. Hamlin finished the tournament with 39 points and 23
For the third consecutive game, Coach Alexander put the same
starting five out there. Like that old saying, “If it ain’t broke
don’t fix it.” When Will Ewald, Kaden Froebe, Jermaine Hamlin, Dylan
Singleton and Kameron Whiteman come running out under the spotlight,
with #1 Railer Fan Tim McDougall holding the giant flag and trotting
up and down the sidelines and around the young kids lined up for
high-fives, it’s the most exciting place to be in Lincoln on a
The Railers wore their home white uniforms versus Cahokia Saturday,
after sporting their green uniforms against Limestone and then the
red uniforms against Springfield. No matter what the uniform color,
these 2018-19 Railers look good and play good.
Not trying to sound repetitive, but it was Froebe for the third game
in a row getting the Railers on the scoreboard first. After Lincoln
won the tip and Whiteman missed a three to start the game, the
action headed the other direction, where Cahokia missed, too. But it
was Froebe coming through for the Railers and his three at the 6:40
mark made things official.
Lincoln wasted little time running out to a 10-0 lead on buckets
from Whiteman and Ewald. After Froebe tossed out an offensive
rebound to Whiteman, Whiteman popped a three and Lincoln was
cruising early, 13-2 the score.
Hamlin’s putback was good at the 1:15 mark and he also made good on
the “and one.”
Lincoln was dominating early, 16-2 over Cahokia. Lincoln’s defense
once again was outstanding and the Comanches were irritated early as
the first quarter closed and the score remained 16-2.
Whiteman’s three to start things off only extended the Railers lead
and puzzled Cahokia’s defense even more.
Cortez Brown did manage to score a bucket in the lane for Cahokia on
the next trip down the court. It was his second basket of the game
and he was solely responsible for the Comanches offense at this
point. The rest of the Cahokia team was going to have to get
involved or Whiteman alone was going to beat the whole team.
Speaking of Whiteman, he hit another three from downtown Lincoln at
the 3:44 mark in the second quarter and one fan was overheard
saying, “That was a Jordan Nelson three.” Whiteman was undoubtedly
in a groove and Lincoln was loving it to the score of 22-4.
Jimeque Harvey of Cahokia managed to sneak into the lane alone and
put up a shot for the Comanches to make the score 22-6 but even with
that bucket there was barely a peep outta the Comanche fans.
Railer Nation on the other hand was loud again. The student section
was decked out in their Beach/Hawaiian themed attire looking and
sounding good. Leader of the pack, Austin O’Donoghue, had his floaty
on and he looked ready to jump in if needed.
A Froebe pass to Hamlin at the 3:13 mark would result in a Jermaine
dunk and you guessed it, the crowd ate it up. Railer Nation went
bonkers. The Railers lead was 24-6. Life is good on the beach.
Let’s just end this quarter, that’s kinda what the Comanches were
thinking. How about getting Noah Funk in the scoring column. Funk
hit a three for Lincoln with 1:35 remaining and then, yes, Whiteman
capped things off with a buzzer-beating thrilling three.
You can’t ask for these guys to do it any other better way. With a
30-7 lead Lincoln ran off to the locker room.
As for the rest of the gym, get out the flip flops, sit back, relax
and enjoy. Even scorekeeper Eric Grunder had his cargo shorts on
behind the score’s table.
Lincoln’s stride from beyond the arc was not about to be broken.
Froebe’s three was perfect and the lead was 33-7.
While the third quarter would see a couple other Comanches get their
names in the scorebook, the game still belonged to Lincoln. Whiteman
switched it up a bit and moved closer to the basket to hit a couple
closer-ranged field goals. Hamlin and Funk scored in the lane as
well and at the end of this quick and painless quarter, the Lincoln
lead was 45-24.
The final quarter still consisted of Whiteman connecting for threes,
until he settled on 26 points for the night. Froebe was busy
connecting from beyond the arc, in the lane, and from the free throw
line. Froebe would finish with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
His final two free throws gave Lincoln a 30-point lead, 61-31 the
[to top of second column]
Railer Man strikes a pose with Railer Nation. The theme for the
night was Beach/Hawaiian. Someone bring sand next time!
The game’s not over yet. Just as Landon Hullinger was fouled and
heading to the free throw line, a technical foul was called. It
appeared to be called on a Comanche player who was lining up for the
So with 1:05 remaining in the game, Hullinger sank two free throws
and then Coach Alexander called on senior Wyatt Collier to shoot the
technical shots. Collier was a perfect 2-for-2 at the line and
Railer Nation gave him the applause he deserved.
With the score 65-31 Railer Nation was relentless and they got what
they wanted. After chanting and holding up signs that read, “WE WANT
CHUNK” all evening long, Railer Nation got their wish. Patrick
McCraith, nicknamed “Chunk” by friends, entered the game at the 1:05
mark and that move resulted in the loudest cheers of the night. A
fan favorite for the season has been crowned.
As soon as the 5’8-sophomore touched the ball the fans were
ecstatic. When McCraith took a shot, the fans held their breath and
were ready to cheer with arms flailing through the air. He tossed
one up and missed. The crowd still chanted “Chunk” and went wild.
There will be another opportunity. Just not this game. Time ran out
and the Comanches were ready to throw in their beach towels anyway.
The final score in this one was 65-33 and with the win the Lincoln
Railers Varsity earned the 2018 Lincoln/Eaton Basketball Tournament
Before the trophy presentation, three Lincoln Railers were honored
as members of the all-tournament team: Jermaine Hamlin, Kaden Froebe
and Will Ewald. They joined Mike Dunne of Limestone and Bennie
Slater of Springfield on the all-tournament team.
Lincoln last won this tournament in 2015. So for this group of
current Railer juniors, they were not even in high school when the
team last claimed the trophy. Junior Kameron Whiteman had this on
his radar and he delivered in a big way. His 26 points was a
career-high. And this is just the beginning of great things out of
Whiteman at the varsity level.
As for the win Saturday night, Whiteman was focused. “We knew coming
in here that we had to win this game to win the championship so we
kinda had a chip on our shoulder coming in. So we just tried to get
the job done and we got it done,” said Whiteman.
Junior Will Ewald was also key in the win. He scored 5 points and
pulled down 7 rebounds. Ewald was hitting the boards more than usual
and was second on the team behind Hamlin’s 10 rebounds. As for
hitting the boards, he said after the game with a smile, “Coach was
yelling at me. That’s the reason I hit those boards.”
As for the 3-0 start and the success this group is having, Ewald had
an answer. “It’s gonna be a fun season because we’ve got Jermaine
and we got guys who can lob it to him really well. And we’ve got
guys who can drive by defenders. We’ve also got plenty of guys who
can shoot the three. Even if we have an off night, we can just use
Jermaine. We can shoot mid-range shots, too, if we’re not hitting
The Railers have a lot of options. Nice options.
Junior Will Ewald also made the all-tournament team.
Ewald racked up 22 points and 12 rebounds over the three games.
Ewald was also pumped about Railer Nation and their enthusiasm they
brought to Roy S. Anderson Gymnasium. “The student section was
awesome tonight,” said Ewald. “They know what they’re doing. They’re
A little surprise greeted Ewald once he hit the court Saturday night
for introductions and glanced over at the fan section. The leader of
Railer Nation, Austin O’Donoghue, was holding a giant picture of a
baby photo of Ewald. To be more correct, Ewald was a toddler maybe
with hair. Nonetheless adorable.
“He pulled out my baby picture when we had starting lineups and I
was very surprised,” said a smiling Ewald of Austin O’Donoghue.
After the game the picture was autographed with a “Will Ewald #23”
personal touch making it more special. The picture will most likely
make future appearances at ballgames. Among others, but who knows.
Will Ewald and Austin O'Donoghue with nothing but
respect for each other. Ewald holds a giant picture of himself, the
same prop that O'Donoghue held up during the game.
In the meantime, it’s anybody’s guess what the next theme night will
be for Railer Nation. But hands down these kids are doing an amazing
job keeping the crowd pumped.
The next time the Railers take the court at home will be December
4th. Mark that on the calendar.
The hardest working men behind the scenes ~ the
Railers Student Assistants ~ Trent Butterfield, Evan Ewins and Virat
The Railers have the better part of this week off. Rest will do
their bodies good. Although they’ll keep grinding in practice to get
ready for a game at Taylorville Friday night.
It’s a short drive to Taylorville and they’ve got good pizza in that
town. Hope to see everyone there.
Varsity game stats
JV Lincoln vs Cahokia
The Lincoln Railers JV (Sophomore) team beat Cahokia 62-45 on
Saturday night to win the JV side of the Lincoln/Eaton Basketball
Three Railers placed in double figures. Landon Hullinger led the
team with 21 points. Adam Grunder tossed in 15 points. Keagan
Ferguson added 10 points.
The Lincoln JV team improves to 3-0 on the season.
Game stats (JV)
B. Whiteman 6
C. Hill 9
R. Hill 3
[article and pictures by Teena Lowery]