The Des Moines Lincoln Basketball team was out-rebounded, out-shot and out-schemed in the first three quarters Tuesday night but a fourth quarter explosion of offense, suffocating defense and a few clutch shots gave the Railsplitters their fifth straight win in a 55-53 triumph over Urbandale.
After three quarters of dominance by the Jayhawks (5-9), who led by 15 in the closing stages of the third, Lincoln cut the advantage to six with 4:00 left in the game on a corner three by senior Ron Boston.
Urbandale immediately answered against the Railsplitters press to move the lead to eight but an and-one layup by sophomore Aidan Cord made the game 51-45 with 3:41 remaining. A couple free throws put the advantage back at eight with 2:36 left before senior Kamron Francis cut it back to six on a middle drive.
Urbandale missed two free throws before Francis cut the lead to three on another and-one finish with 1:54 left. Urbandale turned it over again with 1:40 left and Kamron Francis hit Aidan Cord open in the corner and the sophomore drilled a three to tie the game at 53.
With the Roundhouse crowd in a frenzy, senior Ben Badger took a charge with 1:09 left to give the Rails what appeared to be the final possession of the game.
That’s when Ben Badger went into Mamba mode, driving down the lane and hitting a contested floater with 2.5 left to give Lincoln its first lead of the game. Urbandale’s last-second attempt went long and the Rails escaped with their fifth straight win.
“Just how we drew it up,” said Lincoln head coach Justin Einerson jokingly. “We had our worst three quarters of the year on both ends in this one but we never stopped playing with heart, passion and belief. Our student section gave us a real lift and our guys responded with clutch shots and clutch stops in clutch moments. I’ve coached some very good players but nobody is a warrior like Ben Badger is.”
Badger finished with 22 points while Kameron Young added 10. The 9-3 Railsplitters head to Ottumwa Friday night to resume CIML Metro play against a Bulldog team that has won four straight games as well.