Lincoln Tops Ottumwa, 52-46

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The Lincoln Boys Basketball team started off the 2020 portion of it’s season by hosting the Ottumwa Bulldogs on Friday night. The Rails led by 15 early in the third before Ottumwa rallied back to tie it in the fourth. A strong finish that included two late steals by Andrew Klein gave the Railsplitters a 52-46 win and a 3-0 CIML Metro record.

Ottumwa came to town with the leading scorer in 4A basketball in Iowa in junior Trae Swartz who was fresh off a 42 point performance at North in December. Swartz finished with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field. The Bulldogs got a big shot in the arm from fellow junior Joe Hammer who connected on five threes on his way to 21 points.

Lincoln was led by senior point guard Ben Badger who finished with 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals. Kameron Young had a career night for the Railsplitters as well with 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Another senior, Kamron Francis, finished with 10 points, five assists and three rebounds.

“This was a team-effort tonight. We missed quite a few scoring opportunities in the first half and had to withstand a big charge by Ottumwa in the second half,” said Head Coach Justin Einerson. “To get three guys in double figures and two guys with four steals says a lot about our depth. Our guys made the plays down the stretch that it takes to win conference games.”

Lincoln (3-0, 4-2) faces 6-0 Waukee at the Roundhouse Tuesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:45. Metro play resumes on Friday, January 10 as the Rails head to the west side to take on Roosevelt.

CIML Metro Standings

Lincoln (3-0) 4-2

North (3-0) 4-4

Hoover (2-1) 4-5

Roosevelt (1-2) 1-6

Ottumwa (0-3) 3-5

East (0-3) 0-7

Lincoln’s Defense Shines in Friday’s 54-27 Win at Hoover


Box Score

Game Highlights

The Des Moines Lincoln boys basketball team traveled to the west side to take on the Hoover Huskies in a CIML Metro matchup Friday night to close the 2019 portion of the 2019-2020 season. Lincoln’s defense came to play, holding the Huskies to 25 percent from the field in a 54-27 Railsplitters victory.

Lincoln (2-0, 3-2 Overall) was led by senior Ben Badger who had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Senior Nate Feller added 15 points and six rebounds while senior Kamron Francis dropped 10 points on 4-of-6 from the field.

In a low possession game, Lincoln held Hoover to single digits in the opening three quarters before the Huskies scored 10 in the fourth. The Railsplitters scored 20 points in the paint compared to Hoover’s six and Lincoln had 11 assists on 19 made field goals.

“We had a really good week defensively and all the credit goes to Rob Newton, who has to be the best assistant coach in the state right now,” said head coach Justin Einerson. “Newton’s attention to detail and preparation has changed the mentality of this group and made our guys obsessed with getting stops.”

The Rails saw both extremes in offensive production with a 116 point effort against East and a 43 point performance against Ames. A well-balanced 40 percent effort from the field was just what the doctor ordered for Einerson’s offense.

“This was as good as our half-court execution has been this season and that’s encouraging. We’ve done well in games where we can score in transition and have struggled when we can’t so it’s great to see us improving in those grind-it-out games like we had on Friday.”

The Railsplitters are off for winter break and return to action with a big CIML Metro showdown with Ottumwa on January 3rd at the Roundhouse.

CIML Metro Standings

Lincoln 2-0, 3-2 Overall

North 2-0, 3-4 Overall

Hoover 1-1, 3-5 Overall

Roosevelt 1-1, 1-5 Overall

Ottumwa 0-2, 3-4 Overall

East 0-2, 0-6 Overall




First Half Lead Evaporates in 56-43 Loss at Ames


Box Score

Game Highlights

The Des Moines Lincoln Boys Basketball team faced another tough Tuesday test, this time on the road at Ames, who is fresh off a trip to the 4A State Tournament last season. Without two star players out due to injury, the Little Cyclones are off to a hot start. Despite Lincoln’s ability to race out to an early 20-6 lead, the Rails sputtered down the stretch, losing 56-43.

All of the Lincoln highlights occured in the first half as transition threes from Aidan Cord and Andrew Klein opened up driving lanes for Ben Badger, who finished with 16 points. A fierce man-to-man defensive effort helped Lincoln gain a 11-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The first two minutes of the second quarter were owned by the Railsplitters as well as the lead jumped to 20-6. From that point on, the Little Cyclones absolutely dominated the glass and finished the final 22 minutes of the game by outscoring Lincoln 50-23.

Senior Nate Feller had a chance to tie the game with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter and after a great move to freeze his defender in the post, the hook shot rimmed off. On the next possession the Rails forced a miss but were not able to finish with a rebound and an Ames putback gave the Little Cyclones a four-point advantage.

With Lincoln in a full-court press, Ames completed two passes over the top for layups in the closing seconds. Free throws helped balloon the lead to 13 in the closing stages.

Four games in and we’ve had 10-point leads in all four games,” said head coach Justin Einerson. “Despite our disappointment as a program tonight, I see that as a good sign of what we’re capable of if we can put everything together. We’ve got to be better on the glass and better in the half-court to win these games but our energy is awesome. This is such a fun team to coach.

With the loss, the Lincoln Boys fall to 2-2 while Ames jumps to 4-2. The stage is set Friday for a CIML Metro showdown on the west side between Hoover and Lincoln. The Huskies are coming off a 33-29 win over Fort Dodge Tuesday night and are also 1-0 in Metro play.

CIML Metro Standings

Hoover 3-3 (1-0 Metro)

Lincoln 2-2 (1-0 Metro)

North 2-4 (1-0 Metro)

Ottumwa 3-3 (0-1 Metro)

Roosevelt 0-5 (0-1 Metro)

East 0-5 (0-1) Metro





Red-Hot Rails Hit 21 Threes in 116 Point Effort

Game Highlights

Box Score

After struggling from behind the three-point line in the opening two games of the season, the Des Moines Lincoln Boys Basketball team caught fire early against East Friday night and were never extinguished in what ended in a 116-39 win.

Lincoln’s high-octane style on both ends mixed with East’s speed and created a game that featured about 170 total possessions between both teams. In comparison, Lincoln’s clash with Ankeny Tuesday night featured around 120.

What the Railsplitters accomplished on Friday night was special. Lincoln scored 116 points on 44 made field goals and 31 of those field goals were assisted. Lincoln converted on 21-of-40 attempts from the three-point line and all 12 Railsplitters varsity players scored.

Despite only playing three quarters, Senior Nate Feller dumped in 39 points on 15-of-21 from the field and 8-of-12 from three. Feller also had five rebounds and five assists. Ben Badger finished with 17 points, a staggering 11 assists, six rebounds in three steals.

Lincoln’s bench had a phenomenal night as well as sophomore Aidan Cord finished with 11 points, senior Kamron Francis and junior Ryan Rand each had 10.

The Rails hope to keep the hot hand on Tuesday night with a tough trip to Ames on the docket. The Little Cyclones are 3-2 in the early season, including a 40-36 win at Urbandale on Friday night.

CIML Metro Standings

Lincoln 1-0 Metro, 2-1 Overall

North 1-0, 2-2

Hoover 1-0, 2-3

Ottumwa 0-1, 2-2

Roosevelt 0-1, 0-4

East 0-1, 0-4





Lincoln Drops Overtime Thriller to Ankeny, 62-60


Box Score

Game Highlights

The Lincoln boys basketball team grabbed a 10 point lead in the middle of the third but couldn’t close down the stretch as Ankeny (3-0) hit two late free throws to take down Lincoln (1-1) by a final of 62-60.

The game was a seesaw affair from the jump as both high-octane offenses found early success in the transition game. The Hawks and Railsplitters went blow-for-blow through the first half as Lincoln grabbed a 19-13 advantage before Ankeny answered with a 7-point lead of their own, only to give up a 9-0 to the Rails that gave Lincoln a 34-32 halftime advantage.

The Rails led 46-36 in the third quarter but only managed nine more points through the final 12 minutes of the game, leaving the door open for Ankeny in the closing minute. With the game tied and 20 seconds left, senior Kamron Francis was fouled attacking the rim and hit one of two free throws to give Lincoln a 55-54 advantage. On his second, Francis grabbed the rebound on his own miss and passed it out to senior Andrew Klein.

Klein missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Rails set up for one last stop to win the game. Senior Ben Badger was guarding the ball in the closing moments and centered his chest to the ball-handler who was on his way to the basket. Badger was called for a block and the Hawks had two free throws to take the lead with four seconds left. One free throw connected and the game went into overtime.

Late in overtime, Lincoln picked up a key defensive rebound by Andrew Klein before it was poked out of bounds and declared Ankeny ball. With five seconds remaining, Kameron Young was called for his fifth foul while contesting the potential game-winning shot. The Hawks connected on two free throws and a Ben Badger buzzer beater rimmed out to drop Lincoln to 1-1 on the young season.

“There were a few times we made big-time plays down the stretch and didn’t get rewarded,” said fourth-year head coach Justin Einerson. “In reality, our execution has got to be cleaner from tip-to-buzzer if we’re going to beat good teams like Ankeny. I can guarantee the execution will improve and I love the heart we compete with.”

Ben Badger led the Rails with 16 points and four assists. Kameron Young scored 11 points on 5-of-9 from the field. Senior Kamron Francis added 10 points and five rebounds. Senior Nate Feller, nursing a finger injury, had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Lincoln opens up CIML Metro play on Friday as East comes to the Roundhouse. Tip is scheduled for 7:45pm.

Rails Roll in Season Opener, 64-31


The Lincoln Boys Basketball team laid down a fierce defensive effort on opening night in a 64-31 win over Fort Dodge. The Dodgers (1-1) were on the second night of a back-to-back after defeating Indianola 61-59 Monday night. The Railsplitters (1-0) gave Fort Dodge just a handful of clean looks as the Dodgers shot 21.7 percent from the field.

Lincoln struggled offensively at times, managing only 34.6 percent from the field and 6-of-22 from deep, but the Rails used their speed and spacing to draw 30 fouls and converted 22-of-34 from the free throw line. In comparison, the Dodgers were 10-of-20 at the charity stripe.

Senior Ben Badger faced some adversity early, getting called for his third and fourth foul on back-to-back plays in the closing seconds of the first quarter. After a short stint on the bench, Badger returned and pieced together a 20 point scoring effort while never recording his fifth foul.

Senior Nate Feller fouled out in the fourth quarter after scoring 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds. Sophomore Aidan Cord finished with eight points on 8-for-10 from the free-throw line. Senior Andrew Klein hit two big threes on his way to a seven point night. Senior Kameron Young scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds.

“Coach Newton’s defensive game plan was fantastic and we played with a lot of heart and passion all night,” said head coach Justin Einerson. “It’s nice to finally get this season going because these guys have been itching to put all those months of hard work to the test.”

The Rails face a tough test on Tuesday, December 10 back at the Roundhouse as Ankeny comes to town. The Hawks are fresh off a 60-57 win over North last night.

Box Score

Game Highlights

JV Final:

Fort Dodge 71

(0-1) Lincoln 70


Victor Hatungimana- 30 points


Freshmen Final:

(1-0) Lincoln 51

Fort Dodge 43

Lincoln Opens with Fort Dodge Tuesday

The stage is set for the 2019-2020 boys basketball season and Lincoln is looking to improve on the 11-12 mark from last winter. The Rails begin the season with three consecutive games on John Carle Court at the Roundhouse, starting with Fort Dodge on Tuesday, December 3rd.

The Rails edged the Dodgers 52-45 in Fort Dodge to open the 2018-2019 season and got big performances by a few college-bound seniors, including Ben Knoebel (Buena Vista), who poured in 18 points on six threes. Though Lincoln lost CIML Metro first-teamers Knoebel and Josiah Conkrite (Grand View) to graduation, along with other CIML Metro award winners Felix Gallagher (DMACC) and Logan Sharp (Cornell), the Rails return seniors Nate Feller, Ben Badger and Kameron Young, who have seen substantial varsity time during their careers.

Ben Badger averaged just over 20 points per game in fall while Nate Feller averaged a double-double with points and rebounds. Joining the two-headed monster will be seniors Andrew Klein, Alex Crimmins, along with newcomer Ron Boston. Ryan Rand and Aidan Cord make the jump to the varsity rotation this year as well.

What Lincoln lacks in size, they make up for in heart, skill and determination, according to fourth-year head coach Justin Einerson.

“We may not look like much coming off the bus, but these guys have put serious work in on their games, their bodies and their minds over the last nine months. Coach (Rob) Newton has turned them into a formidable defensive force and I am excited to turn them loose on the offensive end this season as well.”

Those who can’t make it to the Roundhouse Tuesday night can stream the game live on YouTube by clicking the link below. The girls start at 6:15 and the boys are scheduled to tip off at 7:45.

Lincoln Basketball Live Stream


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


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:


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

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


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