Railers defeat Charleston 51-44 for win no. 20

- Lincoln remains undefeated in the Apollo Conference with an 8-0 record 

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[February 08, 2022] The Lincoln Railers welcomed the Charleston Trojans to Roy S. Anderson Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon and prior to introductions of the starting lineups, Coach Neil Alexander was presented a gold whistle by Steve Allen of the IBCA. Coach Alexander was being recognized for earning career win no. 900 back on January 28, 2022 versus Mattoon. Coach Alexander is no. 1 on the list of active coaches in Illinois and after the Railers 51-44 win over Charleston, the Hall of Fame coach has 903 career wins to date.

On Saturday afternoon the Railers fell behind 5-0 to the Trojans. A three by Jake Bivin cut the deficit to 5-3. With the Railers throwing up nothing but bricks, the Trojans ran out to a 9-3 lead. A basket by Elijah Pollice finally found its way through the hoop and the Railers were down 9-5. Camden Nelson came into the game around the 2:20 mark and he quickly hit a three to close the gap to 9-8. Pollice’s basket in the lane would finally give Lincoln a 10-9 lead before the first quarter ended.


The offense was sparse for both teams in the second quarter. There were a couple lead changes after baskets by Aidan Gowin and Payton Cook but the Railers finally took a lead into the half after a three from Pollice with 40 seconds left. A basket by the Trojans before time expired would settle the halftime score at 17-16, with Lincoln barely in front.



The Railers put together a better offensive performance in the third quarter and it seemed to be the Trojans turn to toss up bricks. With Sasse nailing a huge three in the quarter and Cook, Pollice and Gowin all making their layups, the Railers were able to jump in front 29-22 as the third quarter came to a close. 


Both teams were dead even offensively in the fourth quarter, putting up 22 points apiece. But with the lead Lincoln had built earlier in the half, the Railers would be able to get the win. Pollice led the quarter with an 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line. Cook was 4-for-4 from the line and added a field goal. Sasse and Nelson each contributed threes and Gowin completed the scoring with two points. The Railers walked away with the 51-44 afternoon win and the early start time for the game freed up their evening for the school’s Sadie Hawkins Dance. 


Elijah Pollice had another overall solid performance and led Lincoln with 18 points. Payton Cook tossed in 12 points for the Railers.

Lincoln improved to 20-5 on the season and 8-0 in the Apollo Conference.


Charleston falls to 14-9 on the season and 6-3 in the Apollo Conference. 


The Railers JV team won 57-30 over Charleston. Trey Schilling led Lincoln with 12 points.

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Neil Alexander
Lincoln High School

[Photo Courtesy of Illinois High School Association]

At the end of January 2022, Coach Alexander was recognized by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association in series titled “Top 60 Most Influential People of the last 50 years.”  He was just short of new achievement, which he has since fulfilled.  On Saturday night before a hometown crowd and with 900 wins  Coach Alexander was presented the IBCA the Golden Whistle for becoming the second most winningest high school basketball coach.

Coach Alexander honored by IBCA Top 60 Most Influential People of the last 50 years

CLICK HERE for Neil Alexander's Audio Biography

The Lincoln JV team improved to 18-1 on the season. 


The Railers will host Taylorville tonight in a makeup game. The JV will start at 6 p.m. The Varsity is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.


Varsity scoring


Lincoln 51


Pollice 18

Cook 12

Nelson 6

Gowin 6

Sasse 6

Bivin 3


Charleston 44


Braun 19

Burgass 10

Smitley 5

Applegate 5

Oakley 5

JV scoring


Lincoln 57


Schilling 12

Miller 9

Ki’on Carson 8

Meagher 8

Dahmm 6

Stevens 4

Ka’ni Carson 3

Horn 3

Grant 2

Evers 2



Charleston 30


Foesden 7

Alex Nuylandall 6

Dunklin 5

Bonsdotten 3

Partnen 3

Andrew Nuylandall 2

Pounds 2

Hutti 2

[Teena Lowery]

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