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Monday, Jan. 29

Lincoln struggles but pulls out win over Canton

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[JAN. 29, 2007]  Lincoln head coach Neil Alexander stressed consistency and defense, which the Railsplitters lacked in their 61-49 win over Canton on Saturday night at Roy S. Anderson Gymnasium.

"We didn't cover the right areas," Alexander said of the Railers' defense. "We were trying to do things that we don't do or that we aren't supposed to do. We were trapping in the wrong areas. When you do those things, your defense has holes in it, and I mean big holes."   [click on picture for larger image]

[click here for more pictures from the game]

The Railsplitters (22-2) jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the first quarter. They would go up 16-8 with 5:47 in the second quarter. But Canton stormed back with a 12-5 run to end the half, capped by a buzzer-beating trey by Nate Blessmen to cut the Lincoln lead to 21-20 going into halftime.

Lincoln came out in the second half with a quick layup from Pete Welsh off a Brandon Farmer steal, which sparked a quick 8-0 run, pushing the Railers' lead to 29-20.

But Canton would not go away. A basket by Josiah Martin and two free throws from Blessmen brought Canton within five, 29-24.

"We didn't work on our defense much this last week," said Alexander of his team's practices in the past week. "So you can imagine what the primary objective will be in practice next week."

Two straight 3s by Josh Sutton and a 3-ball from Matt Schick following two Canton free throws proved to be the spark that would close out the game for the Railers.

Foul trouble put Canton to the free-throw line 19 times, where they made 16 of the 19 attempts, keeping Canton in the game throughout the fourth quarter.

"You have to be prepared to play," Alexander said of his team's foul situation. "If you are not prepared to play, you foul, you are out of position, and you put them on the free-throw line."

Canton was led in scoring by Blessmen and Jordan Rader with 18 points each.

Schick led Lincoln in scoring with 15 points and six rebounds. Farmer added 12 points, and Jacob Harnacke had 11 points.

[to top of second column]

Lincoln jumped into the state rankings this week at the No. 15 spot after defeating then-15th-ranked Alton in the Chatham-Glenwood Mid-Winter Classic.

"It puts a bull's-eye on your back," said Alexander of his team being in the state rankings. "Everybody wants to beat a ranked team."

Lincoln will play at home Friday against Springfield Sacred-Heart Griffin at 7:45 p.m.

Score by quarters







Canton 6 14 11 18 49
Lincoln (22-2) 11 10 22 18 61

Canton (49) -- Nate Blessman 18, Jordan Rader 18, Josiah Martin 4, Kyle Riekena 4, Zach Pritchard 0, John Jarvis 3, Spencer Coonradt 2, Nick Smith 0. Totals: 14-31 16-19 49. 3-point goals: 5-16 (Jordan Rader 3-9, Nate Blessman 2-6, John Jarvis 0-1). Rebounds: 22 (Nate Blessman 6, Spencer Coonradt 5, Josiah Martin 5, Kyle Riekena 4, John Jarvis 1, Zach Pritchard 1). Fouls: 10. Turnovers: 27.

Lincoln (61) -- Matt Schick 15, Brandon Farmer 12, Jacob Harnacke 11, Josh Sutton 8, Peter Welsh 2, Kyle Young 2, Ethan Neitzel 9, Alex Anderson 2, Jarod Buckles 0, Chance Fink 0, Wes Neece 0, Max Pozsgai 0, Caleb Sutton 0. Totals: 23-45 9-14 61. 3-point goals: 6-21 (Jacob Harnacke 3-8, Josh Sutton 2-3, Matt Schick 1-4, Alex Anderson 0-2, Brandon Farmer 0-4). Rebounds: 18 (Matt Schick 6, Josh Sutton 4, Ethan Neitzel 3, Peter Welsh 3, Brandon Farmer 1, Chance Fink 1). Fouls: 17. Turnovers: 17.

[Article by Seth Laurence]

[Picture by Bob Frank]


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