Lions Spoil Senior Night
The West Lincoln Rebels jumped out to a seven-point lead in the first five minutes of play versus the Shelby Golden Lions on Senior Night forcing the Lions to call a timeout.
It turned out that timeout was all they needed as Shelby, not only made up the deficit but never trailed again on their way to a 79-51 win.
Senior guard Ryan Huffman did all he could scoring 28 points in his final home game. Rebelsâ€™ head coach Chad Wright has been proud of his play all season.
â€œHeâ€™s been an outstanding offensive player. Heâ€™s given us exactly what we asked out of him. We asked 18-20 points a game out of him and heâ€™s given us that,â€ Wright said of Huffman, whoâ€™s averaged 19.3 points and shot 42 percent from the field.
Another senior Ben Hickman also made the most of his last game in front of the West Lincoln faithful. Hickman used his increased playing time to score a season-high nine points.
â€œIâ€™m really proud of Ben. Itâ€™s good to see him step up when he got an opportunity to knock down some shots,â€ Wright said.
Fellow senior Josh Fisher scored three. Chase Price led Shelby with 16 points, while Donald London added 15.
The Rebels will visit No. 1 seed East Rutherford on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. in the first round of the Midwest 2A Conference Tournament.
â€œWe played flawless defense for the first six minutes of the Shelby and ran a really good team offense. If we can look at that on film, we can see for ourselves us playing at a very high level against very good competition. That gives us some hope heading into Tuesday nightâ€™s game,â€ Wright said.
West Lincoln is 3-20, 1-13 MW 2A on the season.
The North Lincoln dropped their second-consecutive Southern Foothills 1A game Friday getting hammered 96-67 by Maiden.
Adam Lawing paced Maiden with 24, while fellow senior Anthony Bourne contributed 22 of his own.
â€œTheyâ€™re very good ball players. We even tried to play man on them to deny them opportunities, but eventually they broke free and were able to score a lot of points on us,â€ Knightsâ€™ head coach David Johnson said.
Johnson believes his teamâ€™s confidence is struggling after the way they closed out the regular season.
â€œWeâ€™ve been playing very slow, not aggressive over the last two games. In the fourth quarter, we kind of fell apart. Everybody got the opportunity to play, but with the playoffs starting, weâ€™re going to have to be more focused,â€ he said.
Kenny Bethea turned in another strong performance in the post scoring 21 points, Lesharion Johnson and David Ward both chipped in with 10. Miquan Smith scored eight.
â€œI was glad to see more intensity. There was more fire and determination in their eyes at times,â€ Johnson said, looking for a positive against the Blue Devils (18-5, 12-0).
The Knights (9-15, 6-6) will face Polk Co., coached by former coach and AD Scott Sekal, for the third time this season, as they host the Wolverines in the first round of the SF 1A Conference Tournament on Tuesday.
â€œWe are going to take it a game at a time. First we have to worry about Polk. We have to turn ourselves back around. What weâ€™re looking for is trying to play our kind of ball,â€ Johnson said of his team that has qualified for the 1A State Playoffs regardless of what happens in the tournament.
by John Mark Brooks