Rested Railers pummel Panthers 55-31

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[February 03, 2024]  Lincoln – Sometimes a little break can do wonders.

The Railer boys basketball team certainly could not be faulted if it felt one was in order. After a grueling schedule of 10 games over a 22-day span—including three games a week each of the past three weeks-- a short respite from the seemingly nonstop activity appeared to help the players get their legs under them in a 55-31 victory over Decatur Eisenhower.

“They [Eisenhower] run the 1-2-2,” said Railer head coach Neil Alexander, “but they run what we call a ‘flathead’ where they push the point guard back in the middle and then widen out the wings. Coach Gregg [Alexander] did a great job on the scouting report. We found the holes in it and Drew [Hayes] did an excellent job getting into that hole.”

Drew Hayes

Drew Hayes led all players with 21 points as Lincoln used a 20-5 outburst in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Hayes and Gabe Smith each had 7 points in the stanza, during which the Railers increased their lead from 17-13 at halftime to 37-18 heading into the final period.

Gabe Smith

Lincoln shot 83 percent from the field in the second half, hitting 15 of 18 attempts.

“I was really pleased with how the kids made the adjustments and attacked their defense,” Alexander said.

Hayes made 9 of 10 shots from the field and grabbed 5 rebounds while dishing out 4 assists.

“He played really well,” Alexander said of Hayes. ”He’s someone who does a lot for us. We basically run him in the 4 spot, which means that he’s basically playing a little bit of point guard handling the ball and doing a lot of things. We get him in the middle to where he can attack from there; he makes pretty good reads.”

Lincoln shot 65 percent from the field (22 of 34), including hitting 5 of 15 (33 percent) 3-point shots. The Railers benefitted from 18 Eisenhower turnovers.

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Coach Neil Alexander

One trend that has emerged over the last few games for Lincoln is that the Railers have been led by several different players. Over the last seven games, Lincoln has had five different players lead or tie for the team lead in scoring. With different players leading the team each night, that makes it more difficult for opponents to gear their defense to key on a particular Railer.

Karson Komnick

Karson Komnick added 9 points for Lincoln on 4-of-8 shooting from the field. Smith was one of three Railers who were 2 for 2 from the field, as Smith scored 8 points, Aidan Gowin chipped in with 5 and Ki’on Carson tallied 4. Trey Schilling notched 6 points while Frank Sanders made one basket for 2 points.

Tishawn Clemmons led Eisenhower with 14 points.

The Railers improved to 19-7 on the season and 8-1 in the Central State 8 with the victory.

Lincoln hosts Lanphier in a non-conference game Saturday, Feb. 3 starting at 6:30 PM. While both teams are members of the CS8, only the first contest between conference schools playing multiple games in a season counts toward the conference record. Since the teams faced each other on January 12 (in the first varsity game at the new gym complex at Lanphier, which Lincoln won 55-54), this game will not impact records in the league.

[Loyd Kirby]


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