Just like nearly every other game between the “Big Three” in the Narrows League 3A division, the final meeting between Lincoln and Wilson went down to the wire.
Lincoln hit its free throws down the stretch, Wilson’s David Jenkins missed a 3-pointer with six seconds left that set off a wild scramble for the rebound and the Abes emerged with the basketball as the horn sounded to secure a 66-64 Lincoln victory.
When it ended, the Abes could finally breathe. Lincoln nearly let a 63-53 lead disappear in the final three minutes.
“We knew it wouldn’t be easy, we were up 10 in the fourth quarter with three minutes to go and they cut it to one,” Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton said. “We showed some experience — we had games earlier in the season where we would have buckled under that pressure and not finished the free throws.”
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The win kept Lincoln in a first-place tie with Foss — both are 11-2 in conference play. Wilson dropped into third place, at 10-3. Since Lincoln and Foss split their two games this season, they will play a tiebreaker Monday if they each win their final scheduled game on Friday night.
Lincoln (16-3) was led by junior guard Trevion Brown, who finished with 29 points. Brown took over during an electrifying stretch in the second quarter, when he scored 13 points during a 15-6 Lincoln run. The one basket he did not score during the stretch he assisted on.
“It just happens sometimes,” Brown said about the hot stretch. “It’s mainly on my teammates — they just find me, and I hit it.”
Brown scored 20 of his points in the first half. He did not make a field goal in the second half — but he went 9 for 10 from the free throw line.
Josiah Barsh added 14 points for Lincoln, and freshman Trevante Anderson scored 10.
The Abes were elated to get the win on the road. Wilson won at Lincoln earlier this year in another game decided by two points.
“I love my teammates,” Brown said. “We came together. Just to be a part of that and finally get the edge over (Wilson) is great.”
Lincoln played solid defense against Jenkins, who is one of the most dangerous scorers in the city. Jenkins had 14 points in the first half, but Lincoln held him to just five in the second.
Shelton credited junior guard Dionte Simon on the defensive end.
“Can’t say enough about Dionte Simon — I think he was scored on once by David Jenkins, he was keeping track — he was our defensive MVP last year,” Shelton said. “He’s coming off a leg injury and he’s almost 100 percent again.”
Wilson (15-4) was led
by senior Keun Palu-Thompson, who scored 23 points.