Railer boys basketball team handles Cahokia in season opener

Send a link to a friend  Share

[November 21, 2023]  Lincoln – The Lincoln Community High School boys basketball team raced out to a 10-0 lead on and was never challenged Monday night in defeating Cahokia 68-30 in the teams’ opening game of the Lincoln/Eaton Thanksgiving Round Robin Tournament.

Frank Sanders hit a layup on a alley-oop pass from Aidan Gowin to score the first Railer points of the new season. Senior Trey Schilling notched the next six points on a pair of three-point field goals before Sanders took a pass from Drew Hayes and hit another layup for Lincoln. C’Narri Griffin connected on a three pointer for Cahokia not quite three minutes into the opening quarter to give the Comanches their first points of the night.

The Railers would outscore Cahokia 12-4 in the rest of the quarter to build a 22-7 lead heading into the second stanza.

The Lincoln offense remained consistent, adding another 22 points to its total in the quarter. The Railer defense held the Comanches to just four points until intermission to give Lincoln a 44-11 advantage.

Lincoln outscored Cahokia 14-10 in the third quarter to increase its lead to 58-21. The Railers won the final period as well, outscoring the Comanches 10-9 for the 68-30 final margin of victory.

Karson Komnick led Lincoln with 18 points, as the sophomore hit six of nine shots from the field, including four of six three pointers. Schilling added 12 for the Railers, Sanders and Drew Hayes scored 10 points each.

Aidan Gowin contributed six points for the Railers. Preston Short and Brody Tungate scored three points each. Brady Miller, Ki’on Carson and Gabe Smith each added two points to Lincoln.

Cahokia was led by junior Zion Taylor with 11 points.

Another factor which may have played a role in Lincoln’s offensive showing was the use of a shot clock. As was the case last season, the IHSA is allowing schools to use a 35-second shot clock in tournaments as well as shootouts, and the Lincoln/Eaton Thanksgiving Round Robin Tournament was granted permission by the IHSA to utilize it.

Even though he initially had concerns that the quality of play would suffer with the use of a shot clock in high school basketball, Lincoln head coach Neil Alexander said he is now in favor of it.

“I really like the shot clock,” he said. “It makes teams play, and I think it will increase the scoring.”

While Lincoln was never seriously challenged by Cahokia, Alexander expects the Railsplitters’ next game will test his team. Lincoln squares off against former Apollo Conference foe Mt. Zion on Wednesday at 7:30 PM. The Braves went 28-5 last season, including a perfect 12-0 mark in the Apollo Conference. Mt. Zion lost only three seniors from last season’s squad.

[to top of second column]

The Braves won their opening game in the Lincoln/Eaton tournament by defeating Belleville Althoff 71-61 in the opening game of the tournament.

“I’m excited about Wednesday night,” Alexander said. “Mt. Zion’s really good; I think they’re good enough to win a sectional. So, we’re going to get challenged early and see where we’re at and go from there. They’ve got size, they’ve got good guards who can shoot it and they can drive it, so it will be a totally different ballgame Wednesday.”

Although Lincoln does not play Tuesday night, tournament games will still be played in Lincoln. Railer basketball fans will get a chance to see LCHS alumnus Adam Schonauer lead Mahomet-Seymour against Belleville West at 6 PM.

Champaign Centennial will take on Danville in the following Tuesday game at LCHS, while Cahokia will play a game at Belleville Althoff which will count in the tournament records.

Danville faces Belleville West in the 6 PM game on Wednesday before the Railers square off against Mt. Zion at 7:30 PM.

The remaining schedule for the tournament (games take place at LCHS unless otherwise noted) is:

Tuesday 11/21
6 PM – Belleville West vs. Mahomet-Seymour
7:30 PM – Champaign Centennial vs. Danville
7:30 PM – Cahokia vs. Belleville Althoff @ Belleville Althoff

Wednesday 11/22
6 PM – Danville vs. Belleville West
7:30 PM – Lincoln vs. Mt. Zion

Friday 11/24
3 PM – Cahokia vs. Mt. Zion
4:45 PM – Mahomet vs. Danville
6:30 PM – Belleville West vs. Champaign Centennial
8:15 PM – Lincoln vs. Belleville Althoff

Saturday 11/25
3 PM – 7th place game
4:45 PM – 5th place game
6:30 PM – 3rd place game
8:15 PM – Championship game


[Loyd Kirby]


Back to top