Railers dominate Prairie Central - improve record to 12-2

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[January 05, 2019]  The Lincoln Railers were back home at Roy S. Anderson on Friday night, hosting the Prairie Central Hawks in the first game of 2019.

The Hawks got on the board first in this one with a three from Wyatt Steidinger but that would be their biggest lead of the night.

The Railers dominated this game. Jermaine Hamlin scored the first three buckets for Lincoln and it almost looked like it was easily going to be a night of just feed the machine inside the paint. The lead did alternate early in the first quarter between the two teams.

Kaden Froebe's three put Lincoln up on top 9-7 at the 3:09 mark.

Steidinger knotted the game 9-9 with his fadaway jumper with 2:27 showing on the clock.

And then it would be Kameron Whiteman nailing a three to give the Railers the lead for good, 12-9 the score.

In the final minute of the quarter the Railers stretched that lead to 19-9. A beautiful bounce pass through the lane from Whiteman to Dylan Singleton resulted in a sweet little jumper by the point guard. And while next time down the court a lob from Whiteman to Hamlin just missed the mark, the 6'10 senior recovered nicely and managed to put the ball through the hoop anyway.

Quickly thereafter a steal from Singleton, with 10.2 seconds remaining on the first quarter clock, allowed Lincoln enough time to set up a last-second shot and this time it was Will Ewald launching a three to give Lincoln that 19-9 lead just as time expired.

The second quarter action began with Landon Hullinger hitting his own little fadaway jumper to stretch Lincoln's lead to 21-9. This sophomore can play. He's already shining in the JV games and his contributions off the bench to the Varsity are going to be even more instrumental in the Railers success down the stretch.

Hullinger fits in perfectly with the nice collection of shooters Coach Neil Alexander already has in his starting lineup. Froebe being one of those shooters. The junior hit a long, long three with a high arch that touched nothing but net before it landed on the court to stretch the Railer lead to 24-9.

The Hawks finally scored on a free throw at the 6:14 mark to break Lincoln's 13-0 scoring run.

The Railers put together a quick little 11-0 run after which was led by six points from Hamlin. Six fun to watch moments in the paint. Even long-time Railer fan John Guzzardo, who still sits in the same seat after all these years, kept repeating "Jermaine is just so fun to watch."Indeed he is. And the improvement the senior has made in his high school career has been phenomenal.

Back to the fun to watch moments. Basically whenever Hamlin gets the ball in the paint, the crowd is anxious. At the 3:15 mark it was just a quick bank shot in the lane, but it was a start.

After a Froebe miss at the 2:51 mark, Hamlin's rebound and putback saved his friend. Honestly it's a little hard to explain but the big guy grabbed the rebound and with a slew of Hawks surrounding him, he just rose above them and laid the ball in from a tricky reverse position and while some might say that was just a lucky shot, the fact that he had the ability to realize his position and location of the basket with all that traffic around him from an awkward position to begin with, was impressive. Nice move. But just wait. There is more.

[to top of second column]

Railers end the first quarter up 19-9 over Prairie Central. Lincoln went on to win 61-38 in their first home game of 2019.

At the 2:10 mark Froebe's pass was perfect into Hamlin and this is what they came for. They being the Railer fans. A Hamlin dunk that rattled the rim and gets the Railer faithful pumped up. They love it.

Singleton finished off the Railer run with hard-fought rebound and putback with 1:11 remaining in the half and Lincoln's lead was 35-10 at this point. The Hawks' Trey Bazzell completed the first half scoring with a free throw and the two teams trotted off to the locker room with Lincoln up 35-11.

The second half was brutal for the Hawks, too. Lincoln's lead grew to 39-11 and if you were a Hawks fan you just couldn't wait to get outta town. With Singleton, Whiteman, Froebe and Ewald all hitting, the Railers lead was 53-22 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter a three from Hullinger put Lincoln up 56-26 and those Hawks were feeling defeated to say the least. A three from Noah Funk and the lead was 59-35.

To finish the game, it was Funk with behind the back pass to Dreyden Pozsgai, who tossed the ball in for Lincoln's final points. 61-38 was the final score and Lincoln improves to 12-2 overall on the season.

The Railers were led in scoring by Jermaine Hamlin with 14 points. Kaden Froebe tossed in 12 points and Dylan Singleton hustled his heart out all night long and finished with 10 points. Singleton also led the Railers with 7 rebounds.

Trey Bazzell led Prairie Central with 15 points and Wyatt Steidinger contributed 12 points.


In the JV contest Lincoln defeated Prairie Central 46-25. Landon Hullinger led the Railers with 21 points. Keagan Ferguson tossed in 14 points for Lincoln. Lincoln's JV improves to 10-0 on the season.

Lincoln will travel to Champaign Centennial tonight for a 5 p.m. JV tip-off and a scheduled 6:30 p.m. Varsity tip-off.

It's relatively a short drive for Railer fans and the matchup is sure to be a good one.

Editors note: [LDN staff would like to extend deepest sympathies to Coach Neil Alexander family with the passing of coach's mother on Friday. Coach's parents have been strong supporters faithfully attending games.]

Varsity scoring

Lincoln 61 Prairie Central 38

Hamlin 14
Froebe 12
Singleton 10
Ewald 8
Whiteman 7
Hullinger 5
Funk 3
Pozsgai 2

Bazzell 15
Steidinger 12
Haab 4
Stein 3
Bachtold 2
King 2

 JV scoring

 Lincoln 46 Prairie Central 25

 Hullinger 21
Ferguson 14
Grunder 6
Tungate 5

 Vaughan 13
King 10
Dunahee 2

[Teena Lowery]

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