Lincoln Wraps Up Training Camp

Summer Squad

The Lincoln Boys Basketball team completed a grueling 21 days of practice, agility and weights. On top of that, the Varsity team played a 22-game schedule while Rails Freshmen and Sophomores played 24 games of their own.

In week one, the Lincoln Boys played a three-game tilt at Ankeny Centennial with the highlight being a 59-44 win over Johnston. In the following week, Lincoln Assistant and Youth Player Development Coordinator Dominique Shirley led the annual Lincoln Boys Basketball Camp with assistance from the Railsplitter players and Head Coach Justin Einerson. The Lincoln High School Activities Golf Outing took place on Friday, June 9 and the entire basketball program was involved with the event in some manner.

The Rails spent the following Saturday at the Simpson Team Camp where they were at full strength for one of the only times of the summer. Lincoln won all three games at Simpson, defeating Marshalltown, Dallas Center-Grimes and Gilbert. Freshman Trovary Cavil came out firing, while seniors Nate Feller, Ben Badger and Kameron Young led the Rails in scoring over the weekend.

During week two, the Rails prepared for a five-game slate at Drake University in a team camp that featured high-quality teams from all over the country. With Kameron Young and Andrew Klein unavailable, the Rails called up sophomores Joseph Daughenbaugh, Zander Kehoe and freshmen Benno Cooper and Jamal West. The highlight of the Drake University weekend was a 66-58 win over Minnesota 2A State Title Defenders Minnehaha.

The Lincoln Basketball and Football guys spent week three at the Iowa National Guard in a physically demanding week of warrior workouts run by members of the Guard. Kameron Young was named MVP of the Fitness Camp for the second straight year. The Rails were hit by the injury bug however as Nate Feller, Alex Crimmins and Aidan Cord were all out for the weekend team camp at Grand View because of potential concussions. In game one at Grand View, Joseph Daughenbaugh lacerated his shin and sophomore Victor Hatungimana banged up his shoulder.

With Badger, Feller, Crimmins and Cord unavailable, the weekend at Grand View was a great opportunity for the young guys to compete as many Lincoln Basketball freshmen and sophomores played a staggering nine games in two days on the East Side. Freshmen Kyrell Moore and Kobe Mikele joined the varsity squad while sophomore D’Angelo Olson joined the fray as well. The Rails dropped all four games but fought to single-digit deficits against Indianola and Urbandale in the second half.

Rob Newton took over the head coaching reigns in week four due to a biking injury to Coach Einerson. With Badger, Cord, Crimmins and Klein back in the lineup, the Rails went 2-2 on the final weekend at All-Iowa Attack in the June High School Jamboree. Lincoln dropped game on to Pella 65-64, won big over Fort Madison and Ottumwa, and fought the Polar Bears to a halftime tie before falling to North Sunday.

The Rails finished the summer season with a 57-29 victory over Ames at the Urbandale Summer League.

Varsity Players to Watch this Winter:

#0 Nate Feller, 6-2 Senior- Feller had two incredible games on the arena floor at the Drake Team Camp. Feller is able to create his own shot, whether it’s from deep, off the dribble or in the post. His hard fall at Urbandale Summer League in week two was a big blow to the team performance because he’s Lincoln’s best scorer, rebounder and a five-position defender.

#5 Ben Badger, 5-10 Senior- Badger is the leading returing scorer for the Rails and he was able to get to the rim possession-after-possession throughout the summer. Ben rebounds well for a point guard and has the ability to create opportunities for points with every one of his touches this winter.

#15 Kameron Young, 6-2 Senior- Kameron Young was given the keys to the entire program during the Grand View team camp as all of experienced players were out with injuries. With the program on his back, Kameron shined as an all-purpose scorer. With his size and athleticism, he’s become a talented driver who can also score in the post. As his jump shot continues to improve, he becomes a tough matchup. Kam has potential to be a leading rebounder and scorer in the CIML Metro this year.

#1 Trovary Cavil, 5-5 Freshman- Trovary got a ton of varsity minutes in his first summer with the program and did not disappoint. A lights-out shooter, Trovary is also able to score off the bounce and showed his grit on the defensive glass and gave his body up for the team, taking charges when the opportunity presented itself.

#32 Alex Crimmins, 6-1 Senior- The Rails just look better with Alex Crimmins on the floor. Crimmins battled injuries during the summer but in his healthy games, he was a force on the offensive and defensive glass. His three-point shot is becoming a heck of a weapon as well.

#3 Andrew Klein, 5-9 Senior- Talented runner Andrew Klein has become a weapon from the three-point line as well. In the final game of summer, Klein nailed four threes, opening the floor for drives for Badger and Young. The Lincoln coaching staff regards Klein as the best on-ball defender in the program today.

#20 Aidan Cord, 6-0 Sophomore- Aidan battled injuries as well this summer, a concussion in week two and a foot ligament issue in the final tournament of the year. When healthy, Aidan was a spark of energy for the Rails, starting in some spots. Aidan has always been a hustle player focused on rebounding, defense and floor burns, but an improving ability off the bounce and as a catch & shoot player make him an even more valuable player at the varsity level as a sophomore.

#2 Victor Hatungimana, 5-9 Sophomore- Victor’s ceiling has always been high and how with some improved length and athleticism to go with his dribbling, shooting and passing skills, we are starting to see Vic take over games. Split between JV and Varsity minutes this summer, Vic showed that he can lead and influence every possession.

Head Coach Justin Einerson said, “This group could be special. We won’t have size but we have skill, speed, athleticism and heart. This senior class is full of great leaders with great futures, one of the most exciting things about this program right now is that this senior class is directly leading so many young, talented players at the freshman and sophomore levels.”

Lincoln Training Camp, Week 3 Update

The third week of summer training camp for the Lincoln Boys Basketball program is in the books and now the Railsplitters youth movement prepares to shine in the Grand View Team Camp Friday & Saturday.

The injury bug hit the Rails hard as three varsity staples are currently in concussion protocol. Alex Crimmins took a knock while taking a charge against Linn-Mar Saturday, Nate Feller was fouled hard and Aidan Cord caught an elbow in an unfinished contest with DCG Tuesday night.

Seniors Nate Feller and Ben Badger shined at the Drake Team Camp, playing almost every single minute of the five-game slate over a two-day period. They even received a little love from Prep Hoops Iowa and QuadVisual for their high-level play against Mt. Vernon and Minnehaha.

While Feller and Badger led the charge, the injury to Crimmins as well as the unavailability of seniors Kameron Young and Andrew Klein left a lot of minutes on the table for rising Rails underclassmen.

Freshman Trovary Cavil stepped into a starting role seamlessly, canning four threes in both games played under the bright lights of the Knapp Center. Outside of Lincoln’s new rising star in Cavil, freshman sharpshooter Benno Cooper and freshman board man Jamal West saw varsity time Saturday.

Sophomores Victor Hatungimana, Aidan Cord, Joseph Daughenbaugh and Zander Kehoe all saw significant time for the varsity squad at Drake as well. For Daughenbaugh and Kehoe, it was their first taste of varsity basketball.

On Monday morning, the Rails Basketball team joined the Lincoln Football team for a week at the Iowa National Guard facility at Camp Dodge for the annual Fitness Camp. After 8 hours of intense workouts, team-building and learning opportunities, senior Kameron Young won MVP of the camp for the second straight year.

Grand View Team Camp Schedule

Varsity

Friday, June 21

10:00am- Lincoln Vs. Ballard, Court 2

12:00pm- Lincoln Vs. SE Polk, Court 1

2:00pm- Lincoln Vs. Pella Christian, Court 3

Saturday, June 22

12:00pm- Lincoln Vs. Indianola, Court 3

5:00pm- Lincoln Vs. Urbandale, Court 3

Grand View Camp Varsity Roster, June 21 & 22:

#1- Trovary Cavil, Freshman

#2- Victor Hatungimana, Sophomore

#3- Andrew Klein, Senior

#11- Zander Kehoe, Sophomore

#15- Kameron Young, Senior

#22- Joseph Daughenbaugh, Sophomore

#30- Jamal West, Freshman

#34- Benno Cooper, Freshman

#42- Kyrell Moore, Freshman

Grand View Team Camp JV Schedule, June 21:

Friday:

10:00am- Lincoln JV Vs. North, 10am, Court 3

5:00pm- Lincoln JV Vs. DCG, 5pm, Court 2

Saturday:

10:00am- Lincoln JV Vs. North Polk

1:00pm- Lincoln JV Vs. Ankeny Centennial

7:00pm- Lincoln JV Vs. Ankeny

Grand View Team Camp JV Roster, June 21 & 22:

#21- D’Angelo Olson, Sophomore

#22- Joseph Daughenbaugh, Sophomore

#34- Benno Cooper, Freshman

#30- Jamal West, Freshman

#11- Zander Kehoe, Sophomore

#4- Kobe Mikele, Freshman

#10- Wayne Methfessel, Freshman

#14- Evonte Madlock, Freshman

#42- Kyrell Moore, Freshman, Sophomore

Rails Summer Schedule:

*June 2: Ankeny Centennial Classic

Varsity: 1-2 (Win over Johnston, Losses to Valley & Centennial)

*June 8: Simpson Team Camp, Varsity & JV

Varsity: 3-0, 4-2 Overall

W- Lincoln 68, Marshalltown 55 

W- Lincoln 63, DCG 52

W- Lincoln 74, Gilbert 54

*June 10: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30pm

*June 11: Lincoln Varsity Vs. SE Polk @ Urbandale High, 7pm

Varsity, Loss to SE Polk, 57-42 (4-3 Overall)

*June 14-15: Drake Team Camp, Varsity & JV

Varsity (1-4, 5-7 Overall)

W- Lincoln 66, Minnehaha 58

L- Waterloo West 68, Lincoln 37

L- Center Point-Urbana 55, Lincoln 48

L- Linn-Mar 64, Lincoln 50

L- Mt. Vernon 66, Lincoln 63

*June 17: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30 & 7:30pm

*June 18 vs DCG

*Game suspended with Lincoln up 5 with 1:30 remaining

June 21-22: Grand View Shootout, Varsity & JV

June 24: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30 & 7:30pm

June 25: Lincoln Varsity @ Urbandale, 5pm

June 29-30: All Iowa Attack Jamboree, Varsity & JV

July 1: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 5:30 & 6:30pm

July 2: Lincoln Varsity Vs. Ames @ Urbandale, 6pm

 

 

Summer Training Camp, Week 2 Update

The Lincoln High School Boys Basketball program is now nearing completion of week two of the four week summer training camp for 2019. As players grind through daily agility, weights and two-hour practice sessions that focus mostly on the defensive side of the ball, the Railsplitters have played over 10 games against other schools over the last two weeks.

The Varsity Rails went 3-1 in week two, sweeping all three games at Simpson before struggling to score in a 57-42 loss to Southeast Polk at Urbandale HS Summer League. In Indianola, Nate Feller, Ben Badger and Kameron Young led the charge on both ends of the ball while the Railsplitters got strong performances by freshman Trovary Cavil as well as seniors Alex Crimmins and Andrew Klein.The Rails will be without seniors Kameron Young and Andrew Klein this weekend during a five game slate at Drake University. Stepping into the limelight will be sophomore Aidan Cord, who saw rotation minutes primarily over the past week. For the Drake tournament, sophomores Victor Hatungimana, Zander Kehoe and Joseph Daughenbaugh will join the varsity squad.

“Attention to detail is the primary focus so far this summer,” said Lincoln Varsity Head Coach Justin Einerson. “With five seniors and no juniors, we need some of our talented underclassmen to turn into dependable varsity guys over the next few months. So far, we’re seeing a lot of good things from both the seniors and the young guys that show us we’re close to being where we need to be.”

Next week, the Rails will spend two hours a day at the Iowa National Guard facility, working to improve the fitness level of all in the program. Due to the physical, yet fun nature of the workouts at the Iowa National Guard, this is one of the best weeks of the year for player and team growth for both Lincoln basketball and football.

Drake Team Camp Schedule

Varsity

Friday, June 14

6:00pm- Lincoln Vs. Minnehaha, Knapp Center

8:00pm- Lincoln Vs. Waterloo West, Shivers Court 2

Saturday, June 15

9:00am- Lincoln Vs. Center Point-Urbana, Shivers Court 2

1:00pm- Lincoln Vs. Linn-Mar, Shivers Court 2

3:00pm- Lincoln Vs. Mt. Vernon, Knapp Center

Drake Camp Varsity Roster, June 14 & 15:

#1- Trovary Cavil, 5’5, Freshman

#2- Victor Hatungimana, 5’9, Sophomore

#5- Ben Badger, 5’11, Senior

#11- Zander Kehoe, 6’0, Sophomore

#20- Aidan Cord, 6’2, Sophomore

#22- Joseph Daughenbaugh, 5’10, Sophomore

#30- Jamal West, 6’2, Freshman

#32- Alex Crimmins, 6’2, Senior

#43- Nate Feller, 6’4, Senior

Drake Team Camp JV Schedule, June 15:

9:00am- Lincoln JV Vs. North JV, Bell Court 3

2:00pm- Lincoln JV Vs. Norwalk JV, Bell Court 3

6:00pm- Lincoln JV Vs. Johnston JV, Bell Court 2

Drake Team Camp JV Roster, June 15:

#21- D’Angelo Olson, Sophomore

#22- Joseph Daughenbaugh, Sophomore

#34- Benno Cooper, Freshman

#30- Jamal West, Freshman

#11- Zander Kehoe, Sophomore

#4- Kobe Mikele, Freshman

#24- Dexter Griffin, Freshman

#10- Wayne Methfessel, Freshman

#14- Evontae Madlock, Freshman

#TBD- Kyrell Moore, Freshman, Sophomore

Rails Summer Schedule:

*June 2: Ankeny Centennial Classic

Varsity: 1-2 (Win over Johnston, Losses to Valley & Centennial)

*June 8: Simpson Team Camp, Varsity & JV

Varsity: 3-0, 4-2 Overall

W- over Marshalltown, 68-55

W-over DCG, 63-52

W- over Gilbert, 74-54

*June 10: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30pm

*June 11: Lincoln Varsity Vs. SE Polk @ Urbandale High, 7pm

Varsity, Loss to SE Polk, 57-42 (4-3 Overall)

June 14-15: Drake Team Camp, Varsity & JV

June 17: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30 & 7:30pm

June 18: Lincoln Varsity Vs. DCG @ Urbandale High, 6pm

June 21-22: Grand View Shootout, Varsity & JV

June 24: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30 & 7:30pm

June 25: Lincoln Varsity @ Urbandale, 5pm

June 29-30: All Iowa Attack Jamboree, Varsity & JV

July 1: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 5:30 & 6:30pm

July 2: Lincoln Varsity Vs. Ames @ Urbandale, 6pm

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Lincoln Summer Training Camp Update

The Lincoln High School Boys Basketball team took to the court June 2 for a quick three games at Ankeny Centennial to start the June season. Without a true practice or prep time, the Railsplitters picked up a win at Johnston after falling to Centennial and West Des Moines Valley.

The next day the Railsplitters were back at it with a full regiment of agility workouts, weight training as well as the daily two-hour practice. On top of that, the Lincoln High School team was busy helping with the annual youth camp that was taking place in the Roundhouse.

Now with a full week of work under their belts, the Lincoln High School basketball players are ready for a test in Indianola at the Simpson Team Camp. Each week, the coaching staff will select a varsity and JV group. During the week, the Rails will have a freshmen and sophomore team playing at Urbandale High School on Monday nights and a varsity group that plays Tuesday nights.

Simpson Team Camp Varsity Schedule, June 8:

10:30am- Lincoln Vs. Marshalltown, Blake Fieldhouse Court 2

2:15pm- Lincoln Vs. DCG, Hopper Gymnasium

7:15pm- Lincoln Vs. Gilbert, Hopper Gymnasium

Simpson Team Camp Varsity Roster, June 8:

#1- Trovary Cavil, 5’5, Freshman

#3- Andrew Klein, 5’9, Senior

#5- Ben Badger, 6’0, Senior

#15- Kameron Young, 6’3, Senior

#20- Aidan Cord, 6’2, Sophomore

#30- Jamal West, 6’2, Freshman

#32- Alex Crimmins, 6’2, Senior

#43- Nate Feller, 6’4, Senior

Simpson Team Camp JV Schedule, June 8:

10:30am- Lincoln JV Vs. DCG-1, Chris Street Gymnasium

3:30pm- Lincoln JV Vs. DCG-2, Chris Street Gymnasium

7:15pm- Lincoln JV Vs. Gilbert, Hopper Gymnasium

Simpson Team Camp JV Roster, June 8:

#21- D’Angelo Olson, Sophomore

#34- Benno Cooper, Freshman

#11- Zander Kehoe, Sophomore

#4- Kobe Mikele, Freshman

#24- Dexter Griffin, Freshman

#10- Wayne Methfessel, Freshman

#14- Evontae Madlock, Freshman

#2- Victor Hatungimana, Sophomore

#12- Josh Jenkins, Sophomore

Rails Summer Schedule:

June 2: Ankeny Centennial Classic

Varsity: 1-2 (Win over Johnston, Losses to Valley & Centennial)

June 8: Simpson Team Camp, Varsity & JV

June 10: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30pm

June 11: Lincoln Varsity Vs. SE Polk @ Urbandale High, 7pm

June 14-15: Drake Team Camp, Varsity & JV

June 17: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30 & 7:30pm

June 18: Lincoln Varsity Vs. DCG @ Urbandale High, 6pm

June 21-22: Grand View Shootout, Varsity & JV

June 24: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 6:30 & 7:30pm

June 25: Lincoln Varsity @ Urbandale, 5pm

June 29-30: All Iowa Attack Jamboree, Varsity & JV

July 1: Urbandale 9th/10th League, 5:30 & 6:30pm

July 2: Lincoln Varsity Vs. Ames @ Urbandale, 6pm

 

 

 

 

2018-2019 Season in Review

Overall Record: 11-12

CIML Metro: 5-5, 3rd Place

Fall Team GPA: 3.62

Seniors: Josiah Conkrite (15.8 PPG); Ben Knoebel (10.4 PPG, 37% 3pt); Logan Sharp (5.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG); Felix Gallagher (4.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG); Karon Allen (2.3 PPG); Marcos Sandoval

The 2018-2019 Lincoln Boys Varsity Basketball team will not easily be forgotten. Though an 11-12 overall record did not snap the 11-year streak without a winning season for Railsplitters basketball, Lincoln achieved a number of milestones in year three of Head Coach Justin Einerson’s tenure.

Lincoln started 2-0, won five consecutive games in January, advanced to the Substate 2 semifinal and finished 6-5 in games on John Carle Court at the Lincoln Roundhouse. But two major milestones pack a big punch for the Rails and the culture of the program moving forward. First, the 12 Lincoln Varsity players combined for a team GPA of 3.62 in the fall semester. Secondly, two players were named to the CIML Metro First team; Josiah Conkrite and Ben Knoebel.

Will Feller (Graceland University) was named to the Metro first team in 2018 but Conkrite and Knoebel represented the first duo to be named to the Metro first-team from Lincoln in over a decade. Felix Gallagher, one of the best defenders and rebounders in the Metro, was named second team all-Metro. Logan Sharp and Nate Feller were named to CIML Metro Honorable Mention. Junior guard Ben Badger also received recognition but the limit for Metro awards is five per team.

One of Lincoln’s most memorable nights of the season included the unveiling of John Carle Court on January 25th that also featured a win for the Rails over conference rival Ottumwa. Another was the win over Dowling on the road on February 12th. An early season tilt with East at the Wells Fargo Arena was also a nice memory in a win for the Rails.

“This was an extremely special group,” said Einerson. “These seniors couldn’t have represented the Southside and this program better. They were around at 6am in the offseason, were awesome in the classroom and pushed our younger players to be the best they could be as well. I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with these seniors.”

Wins (11):

November 27 @Fort Dodge, 52-45: Knoebel 18, Conkrite 15, Feller 10, Gallagher 13 Rebounds

Game Highlights

December 1 @East (Wells Fargo Arena), 76-63: Conkrite 21, Feller 11, Sharp 10; Gallagher 10 Rebounds

December 21 Vs. Roosevelt, 61-53: Conkrite 26, Badger 18, Gallagher 10 Rebounds

Game Highlights

January 4 Vs. East, 86-47: Conkrite 28, Knoebel 15, Sharp 14 & 10

Game Highlights

January 15 Vs. Marshalltown, 54-45: Conkrite 22, Badger 14, Knoebel 10

January 19 @ Hoover, 43-27: Conkrite 13, Feller 11

Game Highlights

January 21 Vs. Atlantic, 71-44: Conkrite 28

Game Highlights

January 24 @ Urbandale, 49-47: Conkrite 17, Knoebel 12

Game Highlights

January 25 Vs. Ottumwa, 73-57: Conkrite 27, Badger 15, Sharp 12 & 11, Feller 10 & 9

Game Highlights

February 12 @ Dowling, 57-55: Conkrite 24, Allen 9 Rebounds

Game Highlights

February 18 Vs. Urbandale (IHSAA 1st Round), 52-44: Badger 17

Game Highlights

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Lincoln Moves to Semi-Final after 52-44 Win over Urbandale

The Lincoln Boys Basketball team earned a home playoff game and the 3-seed in 4A Substate 2. That 3-seed set up a Monday night clash with 6-seed Urbandale on John Carle Court at the Lincoln Roundhouse in front of a boisterous Southside student section.

The Railsplitters jumped out to an early 8-0 lead and rode a strong defensive night to a quarterfinal win, 52-44.

Lincoln’s defenders were flying around Monday night, holding the Jayhawks to just 13 first half points. Down 26-13 at half, Urbandale was able to cut the lead to four in the second half before some clutch defensive stops and free throws helped Lincoln extend the lead.

Junior guard Ben Badger scored 17 points and five steals for Lincoln. Josiah Conkrite added eight points and three assists. Felix Gallagher scored seven points and Ben Knoebel finished with six rebounds on a slow 1-for-5 shooting night for the senior sniper.

Both teams shot just 36 percent from the field but Lincoln’s 15-for-19 performance at the free throw line created separation for the Southsiders. Lincoln also out-rebounded the Jayhawks 34-24 and out-scored Urbandale in the paint 24-20.

The Rails move on to play in Ames on Friday night against the Little Cyclones in the Substate 2 Semi-final matchup. The winner will move on to play the winner of the North-Mason City game Friday night in the Substate 2 final. Tip Friday night is set for 7pm at Ames High School.52047657_1316877191799802_5967224662512369664_n

Rails Drop Finale, Ready for the Playoffs Monday

In a clash of styles at the Roundhouse Friday night, the Ankeny Centennial Jaguars shot 28 free throws to Lincoln’s four in a game that ended in a 56-51 loss for the home team on Senior Night.

The Rails struggled mightily from the field, shooting just 33 percent and 10-of-33 from three but Lincoln also out-rebounded Centennial 32-29. The difference in the game was simple: free throw attempts.

Lincoln put up 57 shots from the field while the Jaguars put up 43 during the game. Not only did Centennial shoot 24 more shots from the charity stripe than the Rails, they connected on 18-of-32 of their two point attempts while going 0-for-11 from three.

The Railsplitters finish the regular season at 10-11 and went right back to work Saturday morning to prepare for the first round of the 4A Substate 2 Playoff matchup with Urbandale, set for Monday night at John Carle Court at the Roundhouse.

In the regular season matchup with Urbandale, Lincoln survived an spirited defensive grind to pull out a 49-47 win on the Jayhawks’ floor. Urbandale finished the regular season at 5-16 but beat Roosevelt and Ottumwa in the final week of the year.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm Monday night at the Roundhouse and the winner will travel up to Ames to take on the Little Cyclones Friday night.

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The 2019 Senior Class

By Justin Einerson

Lincoln Boys Varsity Basketball Coach

Coaches are always trying to convince players that hard work pays off, especially in the off-season. If you go around the country you see quotes on walls, doorways and entry ways that suggest that there is no substitute to hard work and dedication. The reality is that achieving your own personal potential, is an extremely rare feat. Distractions are everywhere, waiting for the right moment to take you off track. Most of us fall away from our dreams or goals because of those distractions. And instead of taking ownership for our setbacks, we blame others.

That’s where this 2019 class is extremely special to me. They took year-round ownership in their personal and player development. Just two years ago, this group’s sophomore year, the varsity and sophomore teams at Lincoln finished with one win each.

Marcos Sandoval came in this summer as a senior committed to being a vocal leader and great teammate. He accomplished even more than he set out to because he became another coach on the bench and in practices. His team-first approach gives us a huge boost on the daily basis. He has a bright future in coaching if he chooses that path.

I met Josiah Conkrite the day after that season ended in 2017. He had come to watch the Freshmen/Sophomore game and I learned that he had moved to the Southside and was enrolled to Lincoln about a month earlier. I told him that we would have an intense open gym/weight room schedule in spring and summer and he immediately joined the fray. As a junior, he was our starting point guard and was named second-team all CIML Metro. He also led the CIML in getting his head coach in trouble for shooting in the Roundhouse without the lights on before anyone else got there. Yes, he’s averaging almost 20 points a game as a senior and getting recruited by some great programs around Iowa. He still is the first one in the gym and last to leave. But the coolest thing is that he got a 4.0 in the fall semester of his senior year. All that tells me is that Josiah is unstoppable. Give him a challenge, he’s going to grind and find a way to overcome it.

Karon Allen contacted me in the summer of 2017 telling me that he was moving to the district from Burlington and he was looking to play football and basketball at Lincoln. In both sports, he played sparingly as a junior but stayed committed to working hard and earning his minutes. Karon was unskilled as a junior but one of our champions of hustle and an awesome teammate. The task in front of him to go from a practice player to a spot starter and heavy rotation guy was immense because he struggled to shoot it and had limited finishing ability. This year, Karon has hit a handful of clutch threes for us and has become a matchup problems for opponents due to his ability to attack, finish, shoot, rebound and guard every position on the floor. He earned every skill he attained. Just a pure grinder by nature. I’m also pretty sure he’s every teacher’s favorite student. This is the kind of kid that could change his community forever because of the presence he gives. We’re sure lucky he landed on the Southside.

I used to refer to Logan Sharp as our gentle giant but despite his mild manner, he plays with a ferocity as a senior and I couldn’t be more proud of him for that. Since I met him during his sophomore year, Logan has been a diligent and dedicated worker on and off the floor. He battled a few frustratingly-timed injuries during key development times in his career but always came back in great shape with a great mindset. Logan never let an injury or an illness derail him and now he’s being heavily recruited by some great coaches and great college basketball programs in the Midwest. Logan is always attacking his weaknesses, which tells me that the best of him is still to be found.

Ben Knoebel was one of the first players I met when I took the job in summer of 2016. From the start, it was obvious that he wanted to be a great player here and have a shot at college basketball. An inconsistent and inefficient shooter as a sophomore, he put up hundreds of shots per day, year-round, to smooth out his release. He also studied the game to find ways to maximize his efficiency. His growth as a player went exactly to plan for our program but he continues to improve small facets of the game. He’s become one of our best rebounding and defensive wings, something I never would’ve expected from him as a sophomore. He’s a fantastic student who’s going to have a chance to light up college defenders next year and beyond. Ben is averaging 11.2 points per game this season on almost 40 percent from three.

Felix Gallagher represents everything that Lincoln Railsplitters Basketball is all about. He’s the kind of guy you love having on your team and hate playing against. He’s guaranteed to be more energetic and more invested than anyone else on the floor that night. I have a great picture of him sweeping the floor before a summer practice this year. That’s perfect, that’s exactly the type of person he is. Need someone to rebound, defend an opponent’s best player, sweep the floor? He’s your guy. He didn’t fully commit to basketball until the summer before his junior year and his growth in that span of time is honestly astounding. As a senior, he’s only starting to scratch the surface of what he can become as a basketball player. He started at the five for us due to his intensity as a junior but has developed into a skilled inside finisher with an improving perimeter game and jump shot. Those improved skills allowed us to play him in multiple spots this year. Of course, he still guards the opponent’s best player. We flat-out built this program around Felix. Day-to-day, hour-to-hour, he’s going to outwork everyone, everywhere. He, along with this entire senior class, will be talked about for a long time in the Roundhouse. He is about to step into a college playing career and turn every practice into an intense battle. I love that he will wear that Lincoln chip on his shoulder at the next level.

I want to personally thank Marcos, Josiah, Karon, Logan, Ben and Felix and all of those around them that have made them who they are. Parents, siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, teammates: you have carved out some amazing young men through your influence on them. Lincoln High School, the boys basketball program, and the Southside are forever grateful for everything these men have done for the program.

My wife told me this fall, “Don’t take this group for granted.” I think about that every single day. Even when our work together is done, I’ll be the biggest fan of these six guys in their next endeavors.

2019

Lincoln Tops Dowling in Late Season Clash, 57-55

Game Highlights

The Lincoln Boys Basketball team had been waiting on pins and needles to hit the floor after Friday night’s loss to North at the Roundhouse. Lincoln and Dowling were originally scheduled to play Tuesday but weather concerns bounced the date of this contest around three times before the snow finally held off long enough for the Rails and Maroons to tangle, ironically, on the originally scheduled date of the contest.

Lincoln got a boost and 24 points by star senior guard Josiah Conkrite, who was 7-for-7 from the line to go with his three long-range bombs. The Rails led early until Dowling went on a late second quarter run that put the Maroons up 24-20 into the locker rooms.

A spirited Railsplitter squad came out firing in the third, scoring 25 points in the quarter, good enough to take a six point advantage into the fourth. Down 10 at one point in the third, Dowling’s defense stiffened and Lincoln missed some open shots at the rim and beyond the three point line, allowing the Maroons back to even.

Down the stretch, some timely rebounding and clutch free throw shooting from the Rails clinched a 57-55 win.

Lincoln got nine rebounds and four assists to go with five points by senior forward Karon Allen. Ben Knoebel hit three from deep to finish with nine points while banged up junior point guard Ben Badger scored seven points.

The Rails shot just 38.3 percent from the field but connected on 9-of-23 from the three point line and 12-of-16 from the free throw line. Dowling shot 43 percent from the field but was just 2-of-16 from three and 16-of-29 from the charity stripe.

The road win moves the Rails up to 10-10 on the year with a chance to finish the regular season above .500 for the first time since 2007-2008. Friday night’s contest with Ankeny Centennial is SENIOR NIGHT! The game will tip off at 7:45pm.

Lincoln Starts Slow, Finishes Strong in Loss to Valley

Game Highlights

The Lincoln Boys Basketball team is locked in a tough stretch of the schedule and Tuesday night’s contest with Valley, one of the top ranked teams in 4A, was among the toughest tests the Rails will face this year. Valley’s hot start was too much for Lincoln to counter and the Tigers took a 62-45 win on Senior Night.

Valley (15-3) came out firing and scored 20 points in the first four minutes before three early timeouts by Lincoln Coach Justin Einerson to weather the storm. The Rails defense stiffened and the Tigers didn’t score for the remainder of the quarter, taking a 20-11 lead into the second.

Valley’s hot shooting continued throughout the second quarter and the Tigers stretched their lead to 42-19 into the locker rooms.

From the start of the third quarter, Lincoln’s ferocity showed as they held the Tigers to nine points in the third and 11 in the fourth. Offense, however, was tough to come by for the Rails against one of the better defensive teams in the state. Lincoln cut the final deficit to 17 at the finish but shot just 33 percent from the field and 6-of-25 from three. To make matters worse, Lincoln connected on just 5-of-14 from the free throw line, sealing the fate of the men in maroon.

Josiah Conkrite led the Rails in scoring with 11. Nate Feller and Ben Badger both finished with 9. Lincoln had just three assists on the night but only recorded seven turnovers.

Lincoln’s next test is against CIML Metro Champion Des Moines North at the Roundhouse Friday night. North took an 11 point win in the first meeting and is unbeaten in Metro competition this year. A win for Lincoln (5-4 Metro, 9-9 Overall) will ensure at least a tie for second place in the conference.

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