Railer boys basketball team falls to Jacksonville 51-43

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[December 09, 2023]  Lincoln – First impressions can sometimes be deceiving.

Those who watched the first few minutes of the Railer boys basketball game Friday night against Jacksonville might have thought Lincoln was going to dominate the contest

After all, the Railers hit three of their first four field goal attempts and showed patience on offense while playing relentless defense on the way to an early 6-0 lead.

Rather than roll over, the Railers showed some life as they scored on their next possession and led 14-11 at the end of the opening quarter.

However, the Railers were unable to sustain their effort for the full duration of the game, showing flashes of playing to their potential mixed with stretches of lackluster play as Jacksonville defeated Lincoln 51-43.

After the game, Railer coach Neil Alexander said the team needs to generate more offense to be competitive.

“We’ve got to find a way to score,” Alexander said. “And we’ve got to find a way to get to the free throw line. I thought we’d be a good three-point shooting team, but it’s been a struggle.”

Jacksonville hit eight three-point shots while the Railers only hit three. The Crimsons also snagged 35 rebounds compared to 20 tallied by the Railers.

“They’ve got about four guys who can really shoot it well,” Alexander said. “And then they’ve got the big horse in the middle.”

While Lincoln led after one quarter, the Railers found themselves looking at a deficit at halftime. Jacksonville outscored LCHS 12-4 in the quarter to take a 23-18 lead at the half.

Drew Hayes

Lincoln looked more inspired as the third quarter opened, and the Railers managed to cut into the Jacksonville lead, trailing by only a point or two for the first half of the stanza. Then with 4:10 left in the quarter, Drew Hayes hit a layup following a steal by Aidan Gowin, and Lincoln had its first lead of the second half at 26-25. The Crimsons outscored Lincoln 8-6 in the remainder of the quarter to hold a 33-32 lead after three quarters.

Karson Komnick

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The fourth quarter has become the Karson Komnick showcase in recent Railer games. In Lincoln’s victory over Sacred Heart-Griffin on Dec. 2, Komnick hit a clutch field goal late in the contest and iced the game from the free throw line late in the contest. The quarter began with an Isaiah Martinez three pointer for Jacksonville to extend the Crimson lead to 36-32. But Komnick answered with a three-pointer for the Railers to keep the Jacksonville lead at a single point.

Jacksonville’s next point came on an Amaree Burries free throw to extend the Crimson lead. Komnick then responded with a drive down the left side of the lane for a layup which knotted the score 37-37.

After Emmanuel Moore hit a pair of free throws for Jacksonville, Komnick pulled up and hit a jumper from the free throw line to even the score 39-39.

Unfortunately for Lincoln, its offensive output stalled and Jacksonville outscored the Railers 12-4 for the remainder of the final period to earn the 51-43 victory.

The loss drops Lincoln to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Central State 8. Jacksonville improves to 4-3 and 2-0, respectively.

Aidan Gowin

The Railers were led by Drew Hayes with 12 points. Aidan Gowan added 11 and Komnick scored 9.

Jacksonville was led by CS8 scoring leader Amaree Burries with 23 points.

Lincoln’s next two contests are non-conference games. The Railers play Dec. 9 at East Peoria High School beginning at 6:30 PM. Lincoln then hosts a 7:30 PM game on Dec. 15 against Mahomet-Seymour. The Bulldogs are coached by former Railer Adam Schonauer. Lincoln’s next conference contest is a December 16 game at Rochester.

Box Score

[Loyd Kirby]


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