Railers fall to Taylorville 44-41 on a buzzer-beater

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[February 16, 2019] 

The Lincoln Railers found themselves on the losing end of a thriller Friday night at Roy S. Anderson Gymnasium - and their 12-game winning streak snapped - as the Taylorville Tornadoes tore into town.

Playing in front of a near-capacity crowd, the Railers struggled early shooting from the three-point line and were seemingly shut down more often than not on drives to the basket. The end result was a scramble to take the lead in the fourth quarter, only to see it disappear every bit as quick as the game clock ticked away.

When the buzzer sounded, the Railers had to watch the Tornadoes storm around senior Jack Livingston, whose three from the corner in front of the Taylorville bench hit nothing but net to give the visitors the 44-41 Apollo Conference win.

Jack Livingston, a name Railer fans will not forget in the coming weeks, was on fire for Taylorville in the first quarter and he hit the first four three-pointers that allowed the Tornadoes to take a 12-10 lead.

The Railers were kept in the game on baskets made by Kaden Froebe, Jermaine Hamlin, Dylan Singleton, and Kameron Whiteman.

There were too many misses in the first quarter to mention and Lincoln was lucky to escape the first quarter trailing the Tornadoes 15-12. Taylorville also got a three from Ryan Ess in the first quarter.

Lincoln was lucky enough to tie the game 15-15 in the second quarter, but then things went south quickly. A technical foul called on Noah Funk put the Railers behind 17-15.

Nick Livingston's three made the deficit 20-15.

Turnovers and missed shots plagued the Railers in the second quarter as the Tornadoes held on to a 22-19 lead.

The highlight of the first half was not a basket by Lincoln, but rather a pass. Following a steal, Froebe spotted Ewald running up the court and he perfectly timed a bounce pass between the legs of a Taylorville defender on the run. Ewald caught the pass without missing a beat and laid it in for two points.

Lincoln was trailing 22-21 as the crowd erupted in applause.

Taylorville's Ess ran off the next five Taylorville points to hush the Lincoln crowd as the two teams headed to the locker room with the Tornadoes up 27-21.

Lincoln was hit and miss in the third quarter early, but nearly mid-way through a three by Whiteman put the Railers up 29-28.

Taylorville stole the lead with a three by Jase Bergschneider at the 4:12 mark.

Lincoln managed a 31-31 tie as Ewald went to the basket.

Hamlin gave Lincoln a 33-31 lead as he got one to drop in the lane.

The quarter ended well for Lincoln as Singleton was fouled on the drive and went to the free throw line to shoot two. With 0.0 on the clock the super sophomore made both shots to put Lincoln up 35-31.

The fourth quarter saw Lincoln stretch the lead to 38-33 after Whiteman hit another three.

Jack Livingston did not disappoint the Tornado fans at the other end of the court. He buried a corner three and closed the gap, 38-36. At the 4:20 mark it was Bergschneider for two and the 38-38 tie.

With just over two minutes to play, Ewald did what Coach Neil Alexander told him to do just seconds earlier. "Bury one," shouted the coach to no. 23 in the corner. Ewald did just that off the pass from Singleton.

The Railers took a 41-38 lead with 2:30 left to play.

After a couple Taylorville misses, Lincoln ended up with the rebound and it was Singleton bringing the ball up the court.

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Overtime would have been nice. Not meant to be as Taylorville's buzzer-beater settles the score 44-41.

After a bit of a passing game, Brandon Odam stole the ball from Ewald's possession and the Tornadoes were off and spinning. Nick Livingston launched a three from the corner that dropped through the net as the scoreboard approached 1:28 left to play.

Lincoln controlled the ball at 41-41 until a series of questionable events occurred. Ewald missed a three, but was clobbered and hit the floor. Froebe scrambled to fight for the rebound and as he was driving to the basket to lay it in, he was called for the charge.

Taylorville inbounded the ball under the Railers basket and moved the ball up the court, only to call a timeout with 7.8 seconds left. Another timeout was called before both sides finally settled on positions on the court.

With Taylorville inbounding the ball amidst the tough Railer defense and nearly losing possession of it, the Tornadoes Ryan Ess spotted Jack Livingston in the corner and shot a long pass over to the ready and waiting 6'1 guard. The shot flew out of his hands and through the net as the Taylorville bench threw their arms in the air and stormed the court.

Time expired and the Railers had lost 44-41. Jack Livingston finished with 18 points for Taylorville, all three-pointers.

Lincoln was led in scoring by Kameron Whiteman with 14 points.

Dylan Singleton finished with 6 points but he pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Railers.

Lincoln falls to 23-3 overall and finishes 11-1 in the Apollo Conference.

Taylorville boasts a 25-4 record overall and finishes 8-3 in the Apollo Conference.

In the JV contest Lincoln lost 45-42 to Taylorville. Landon Hullinger scored 17 points and Seth Tungate tossed in 10 points for Lincoln.

Lincoln will celebrate Senior Night and host Decatur Eisenhower tonight at Roy S. Anderson. The JV will tip-off at 5 p.m. and the varsity is set to tip-off at 6:30 p.m.

Varsity scoring

Lincoln 41

K. Whiteman 14
Ewald 9
Hamlin 6
Froebe 6
Singleton 6

Taylorville 44

Jack Livingston 18
Nick Livingston 8
Ess 8
Bergschneider 6
Odam 2
Kettelkamp 2

JV scoring

Lincoln 42

Hullinger 17
Tungate 10
Ferguson 5
McCraith 4
Grunder 4
B. Whiteman 2

Taylorville 45

T. Heimsness 19
Gideon 9
K. Heimsness 7
Czajkowski 4
Heberling 3
Shirley 3

[Teena Lowery]

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