The Lincoln High School Boys Basketball team has had a tough two weeks since its 2-0 start, dropping four straight games. The last two games for the Rails came down to the final possession. On Friday night in a battle between two teams with their backs against the wall in the CIML Metro, the Railsplitters took three straight fourth quarter charges to build the deficit and clinch the win over Roosevelt 61-53 at the Roundhouse.
The Roughriders came in to the game Friday with a five-game losing streak but had star point guard Marcus Edwards back in the lineup after missing two games. Roosevelt also had talented junior wing Romanique Hellems ready to play his second game of the season.
On the other side of the coin was a Lincoln team who was without senior center Logan Sharp, who missed his second straight game with a sickness. The Rails were also without junior guard Nate Feller who injured his chin in a second quarter collision in Ottumwa Tuesday night.
With two starters out, the Rails played a seven-man rotaton that included Karon Allen and Kameron Young at the forward spots, moving Felix Gallagher to the starting center spot, backed up by Maiwut Jock. Lincoln guards Ben Badger, Josiah Conkrite and Ben Knoebel played all 32 minutes.
The Roughriders came out firing, taking a 16-14 lead at the end of the first quarter on some sharpshooting by Edwards and Peter Ngo. The Lincoln offense came alive in quarter number two through four threes by Josiah Conkrite, taking a 34-31 lead into locker rooms.
Lincoln stretched the lead out to 10 in the middle of the third quarter, simulating the exact situation the Rails were in on Tuesday night in Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the Rails relinquished the lead, giving the Bulldogs a chance to capitalize down the stretch. Again, on Friday night, Lincoln’s lead shrunk to one and the Roughriders sat down one with a few minutes to play in the fourth.
In three consecutive possessions, the Railsplitters took charges. One by Josiah Conkrite, one by Ben Badger and one by Kameron Young. Leading by one with two minutes left, Felix Gallagher stepped up and knocked down an open three to stretch the Lincoln lead to four. The Rails never looked back, winning 61-53.
Conkrite finished with 26 points on six threes. Badger finished with 18 points and four assists. Gallagher grabbed ten rebounds to go along with his eight points.
Lincoln shot 13-of-16 from the free throw line and connected on 40.8 percent from the field. The Rails made 8-of-23 from the three point line. Roosevelt shot 37 percent from the field and just 40 percent from the free throw line.
The Rails are off until Friday, December 28th when they begin preparation for Des Moines East on January 4th at the Roundhouse.
CIML METRO STANDINGS
North (4-0), 7-2 Overall
Hoover (3-1), 6-3
Ottumwa (2-2), 3-6
Lincoln (2-2), 3-4
East (1-3), 1-7
Roosevelt (0-4), 2-6