High School Girls Basketball
Lady Railers hammer the Braves 73-43
Team improves to 23-0 as Coach Rohrer wins no. 200

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[January 18, 2024] 

There was a fantastic crowd on hand, who admirably braved the frigid conditions Tuesday night, to see their Lady Railers in action at Roy S. Anderson. The crowd was well-entertained all evening long, with the JV kicking off the night with a 74-16 hammering of the Braves.

The main attraction was heavily anticipated and did not disappoint as Lincoln crushed former Apollo Conference foes, the Mount Zion Braves, by a final score of 73-43. Mount Zion was led by 6í0 senior Denver Anderson and her dazzling co-star, 6í3 junior Jocelyn Turner, who showed up consistently Tuesday night.

Lincolnís advantage: they bring the razzle and the dazzle and a cast of nitty gritty characters who donít back down from ANYONE. At the top of the lineup is 5í9 senior Kloe Froebe, the best of the best, who led Lincoln with 36 points versus the Braves. Froebe was supported by the LCHS Homecoming Queen from last fall, Jenna Bowman, who really did razzle and dazzle the crowd with five 3s and conclude with 18 points. The other nitty gritty characters put on an amazing fearless performance, too and at the end of what could be a Golden Globe nominated overall outstanding performance was Coach Taylor Rohrerís 200th career win at LCHS. Bravo, ladies, bravo! And many heartfelt congratulations to Coach Rohrer. They even brought out the band for ya, Coach!

Lady Railers team manager Ryan Fruge calls a jump ball as the little Lady Railers fight for the ball.

Letís not overlook the halftime entertainment either as the little future Lady Railers, ranging from first grade to fifth grade, took the court during both the JV and Varsity games and that certainly gave fans a great glimpse into the future. One particular takeaway from that featured event was the coach saying to the little girls, ďDonít reach, donít reach!Ē Well, with all due respect, these little girls have been watching the Lady Railers and even when Coach Rohrer yells that, the big girls donít always listen. Playing fearless and aggressive is what has gotten the Lady Railers through a 23-0 season so far.

To the main event we go!

First Quarter

Denver Anderson got the Braves on the board first, but not until nearly two minutes into the game, so definitely a slow start compared to what fans are accustomed to. No worries, the Lady Railers were about to light up the scoreboard.

Tori Geriets scored the first basket for Lincoln and with the score tied 2-2, the Mount Zion coach was already calling, ďTimeout!Ē That didnít take long. What also didnít take long was Kloe Froebe stealing the ball near the scorerís table and taking off towards the basket. Froebe didnít get that layup but she got the foul and dropped in two free throws to put Lincoln up 4-2. After another Lady Railers steal, this time courtesy of Taryn Stoltzenburg, Jenna Bowman put the Lady Railers up 7-2 with her first three of the night.

Give credit to Geriets for that nice assist.

Anderson came right back to score again in the paint for the Braves and she drew a foul, making the score 7-5. Proving that height doesnít always make a difference was Taryn Stoltzenburg when she pulled down an offensive rebound in the lane for Lincoln and quickly put it back for two points to increase the lead to 9-5.

And then in a nice surprising turn of events, it was Becca Heitzig pausing a split second before deciding to drain a three from the corner to set the score at 12-5.

The Braves were able to sneak the next bucket in, courtesy of Anderson again, and she had all seven of Mount Zionís points to start the game. Next it was Heitzigís turn. This time the 5í8 senior pulled up for a jump shot a bit closer to the basket and her two points made the score 14-7.

The Braves retaliated with a bucket by Maddie Kendall but then it was Bowman stealing the show as the Lady Railers made their way up the court. Bowman collected the pass from Froebe and quickly drained her second three of the quarter. Lincoln was now up 17-9. Froebe would crack open the double-digit lead with a steal and a layup, putting Lincoln up 19-9.

As Lincoln pulled down the rebound from a miss by the Braves, it was Heitzig and Froebe running the show. A nice pass from Heitzig to Froebe allowed the latter to get the two points and the score was 21-9.

Could the rout be on?

Mount Zion had other plans and with Turner camping down underneath the basket, the Braves broke the press and she scored. This happened not once, but twice. It didnít frazzle the Lady Railers, but it was clear it frustrated Coach Rohrer. She really likes perfection, hence the teamís record. At any rate, something else that frustrates a coach is when a player fouls another player shooting a three. Turner did that to Froebe with about thirty seconds left in the quarter and to make things worse, she did it right in front of her coach. The Braves coach, Steve Marvel, was just inches away from the play as Froebe stumbled back into his arms.

Froebe marched to the free throw line and while the dream wouldíve been for her to make all three, she did sink two shots, and hey, two out of three ainít bad. Froebe made the score 23-11.

Turner redeemed herself a little as she scored in the paint when her team broke the press for that consecutive time that was alluded to just a moment ago. Anyway, with the score now 23-13, the Lincoln fans were extremely happy. Froebe would give them one more reason in the quarter to smile. With Lincoln able to inbounds the ball under the basket with four seconds left, it only took Froebe two seconds to collect the pass from Stoltzenburg and drain a beautiful three from the top of the key. The shot was so pretty and even prettier, the 26-13 first quarter score.

Second Quarter

Froebe and Bowman really stole the show in the second quarter, offensively. Between the two of them, there were five 3s that successfully went through the net. When the dust settled, Froebe finished with 12 points and Bowman had 11 points in the quarter. Bowman made the first three at the 6:45 mark to make the score 29-15.

With Turner and Anderson providing the offense for the Braves, they combined to close the gap to 29-21.

Leave it to Froebe near the five minute mark to sink a three and that put a little more space between the two teams. As the four minute mark was established, Froebe scored in the paint.

[to top of second column]

Meanwhile Turner and Anderson were keeping Mount Zionís hopes alive, with the score now 34-25. Bowmanís three put Lincoln back up by double-digits and the crowd was really going nuts. Froebe drew a lot of attention and applause on the next move as she darted from the top of the key and took the inbounds pass near the basket from Bowman. Froebe spun around, making that look so easy, and dropped two points in, 39-25 now the score.

The Braves scored the next four straight points, still holding out hope with the score 39-29. But with about ninety seconds left in the quarter, Lincoln was plotting something. How about a nice little 10-0 run to bring these big girls down a notch? First Froebe hit a three, then Bowman sank two free throws, after the steal by Heitzig allowed her a layup opportunity and she was fouled.

Quickly thereafter, Bowman, feeling pretty confident even after a miss (as she should), sank another three. Finally, Froebe ended the run with a layup, thanks in part to the quick hands of Bowman, who had committed the steal that led to those two points. Mount Zion had just enough time for one more shot and with Turner attempting an awkward three, the ball fell way short and Lincoln was way ahead at the half, 49-29. That escalated quickly.

Third Quarter

The third quarter had even more of what Lincoln fans enjoy. Steals (Lady Railers), turnovers (the Braves) a ten-second call (again Braves), and baskets, baskets, baskets. Whether itís a short jumper by Heitzig, a back door by Froebe, or ďPretty PiperĒ (as Jay Hardin calls her) shaking things up, the fans loved every second of it. And when this particular eight minutes was over, Lincoln was dominating the game with a 64-35 score.

Fourth Quarter

Just a basket away from the running clock. How sweet it is.

Geriets tossed in back-to-back buckets early in the quarter as the ladies were changing things up a bit and still finding great ways to score. Let that clock run.

The score went from 66-35 and then 68-37 pretty quickly. Froebe made it 71-40 with a rare three right in front of Lincoln coaching legends Ann and Gary Stoltzenburg.

Rare because Froebe and her friends hardly play in the fourth quarter.

It was nice to see them take the court in the fourth for a few minutes, as the fantastic crowd had stuck around and they were wanting more. They got one more bucket out of Froebe and it was that move where she sees the ball and she takes the ball.

The further explanation is Mount Zionís Turner had pulled down a rebound under the Lincoln basket and after she mistakenly held it rather loosely, Froebe just snatched it out of her hands and tossed it back up and in for Lincolnís last two points on the night.

You know that saying, ďSee the ball, be the ball.Ē Well, in Froebeís world itís ďSee the ball, take the ball.Ē Nice job, Kloe! With Lincolnís bench seeing time on the court at the end, they would walk off to the applause with the final score including a solid 30-point margin of victory, 73-43 the score.

This was a fun victory over a very solid Mount Zion team. These Lady Railers can treat opponents like JLo treats Ben at an awards ceremony. They can ignore you, they donít even say a word to you and they can leave you behind in a heartbeat. Like Ben, the opponents really donít give up, but they tend to look a little disheartened afterwards.

At any rate Kloe Froebe seemed to have the most fun Tuesday night by dropping in 36 points. Legendary journalist Dave Kindred even hung around after the game to chat with Froebe. Kindred always has questions and Froebe has indeed captured his attention ever since late last season. On nights when his beloved Morton Lady Potters are not playing, he finds his way to a gym filled with the Lady Railers and their fans. He has ties to Lincoln anyway and itís fun to see him get tangled in this web of exciting girls basketball.

But how about some extra applause for the 2023-24 Homecoming Queen, Jenna Bowman, who despite throwing up more than baskets earlier in the day, tossed in 18 points. When on fire, the girl continues to have ice in her veins. She doesnít treat Colbie like JLo treats Ben, though. Jenna and Colbie actually walked out together chatting and smiling.

Well, folks, the Lady Railers are now 23-0 with a big game coming up on Saturday night versus Peoria Notre Dame. The JV will start at 5:30 p.m. and the Varsity will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. in Peoria at Bradley Universityís Renaissance Center. It looks like it could be another good time. Please come join the fun!

Back up. Gotta give the JV their moment. They won impressively 74-16 against the Braves, as was noted earlier. But if you missed the first quarter, Lincoln had a 34-0 lead over Mount Zion. At the half the score was 55-5. By the end of the third quarter the game was pretty well over, 68-14 the score. And finally in the end, it was 74-16. These girls are ferocious on the court, just like the Varsity. Three girls hit double-figures: Mia Clark (17), Grace Schneider (12) and Piper Whiteman (12).

The Lincoln JV doesn't mess around and they've landed themselves a 16-0 record on the season.

Take note: only two home games are left.

Varsity scoring

Lincoln 73

Froebe 36
Bowman 18
Heitzig 9
Geriets 6
Whiteman 2
Stoltzenburg 2

Mount Zion 43

Turner 22
Anderson 15
Kendall 4
Rotz 2

JV scoring

Lincoln 74

Clark 17
Schneider 12
Whiteman 12
Holmes 9
Knapp 6
Adams 5
Perkins 5
Hutchison 4
McCloud 2
Gilbert 2

Mount Zion 16

Beiler 6
Daniels 5
Stock 3
Williams 2

[Teena Lowery]

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