Railers defeat Cahokia 50-33 to start the 2021-22 season

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[November 23, 2021] The fans were back in the stands Monday night at Roy S. Anderson Gymnasium as the Lincoln Railers opened the 2021-22 campaign with a 50-33 win over the Cahokia Comanches in the Lincoln/Eaton Thanksgiving Tournament.

Coach Neil Alexander put a starting lineup of Aidan Gowin, Elijah Pollice, Tyler Sasse, Jake Bivin and Payton Cook on the floor versus the Comanches.


The Railers are ready to start the 2021-22 season.

Payton Cook jumped center for the Railers and he controlled the tip. The two teams committed a few sloppy turnovers to start the contest. The game was scoreless until just under the 6:00 mark when Jake Bivin’s basket gave Lincoln a 2-0 lead. Thirty-seconds later Bivin scored in the lane and was fouled. He converted the extra bucket and the Railers lead was 5-0. Seconds later the new no. 5 on the team, Elijah Pollice, stole the ball from the Comanches and his quick pass to Aidan Gowin set up in the corner resulted in a three to make the score 8-0. Points in the paint by Bivin and Cook stretched the lead to 12-0 with just two minutes left in the first quarter. Cahokia finally scored a basket with 1:38 showing on the clock and that 12-2 score would hold until the first quarter buzzer sounded.

Coach Neil Alexander talks to his starting five.

The Comanches scored the first two baskets of the second quarter, but Lincoln brought in Camden Nelson off the bench and his quick three made the score 15-6. Another three out of Gowin made the fans go crazy as the Railers took an 18-8 lead over Cahokia. The Railers scored ten more points, all in the paint, to close out the half. Cook had a couple nice moves in the lane for four points, Pollice fought hard for an offensive rebound and put it back for two points, and then there was Gowin racing through the lane, getting some sweet passes from both Pollice and Bivin, and scoring both times. Lincoln held a 28-8 lead over Cahokia as the halftime buzzer blew.

The LCHS Dance Team performed a routine to Taylor Swift’s “Red” at the half and with Railer Nation decked out in red, this song was the perfect choice.

The Railers emerged from the locker room loose and energetic and ready for the second half. Cook was working on his inside game in the third quarter. His six points to start the action put Lincoln up 34-11. The highlight being the first alley-oop of the season. Gowin floated a nice pass into the lane to a leaping Cook, who laid the ball in for two points as 6:57 showed on the third quarter clock. A three from Pollice around the minute mark would complete Lincoln’s scoring in the quarter, but the Railers still controlled the game with a 37-18 score.

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Payton Cook led Lincoln with 18 points.

Nelson hit his second three of the game in the fourth quarter to make the score 40-21. Back-to-back alley-oops to Cook again stretched the lead to 44-21 and really put Railer Nation into a frenzy. Cook’s spin move in the lane and that ever-so-lovely kiss off the glass gave Lincoln a 46-21 lead. Bivin and Conner Meagher finished off the scoring for Lincoln and as the game came to an end, the Railers had win no. 1 in the books. The final score was 50-33.

Payton Cook led all scorers with 18 points. Aidan Gowin had 10 points for Lincoln. Jake Bivin finished with 9 points and a team-leading 7 rebounds.

In the earlier game in the tournament, Danville beat Belleville Althoff 83-78.

Lincoln will play again on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. versus Danville.


Lincoln 50

Cook 18
Gowin 10
Bivin 9
Nelson 6
Pollice 5
Meagher 2

Cahokia 33

Gooden 12
Smith 8
Jones 5
Kizer 4
Cohen 3
Allen 1

Railer Nation, led by Jake Baker in the middle wearing a bathrobe, didn't miss a beat all night long. They even sang "Happy Birthday" at one point.

[Teena Lowery]

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