Jamila Jones didn’t even get to use his “Monster Group.”
That’s the one where the Lincoln High School girls basketball coach subs his four tallest players onto the court at the same time, turning 6-foot-2 post Tamia Braggs into a guard.
Lincoln only needed two towers at a time Tuesday night, holding visiting Curtis to a season-low point total in a 37-33 nonleague victory behind a playoff-form defense and Braggs’ 18 points to win its fifth consecutive game.
“This just shows that we can handle adversity,” Braggs said.
And handle opposing offenses.
Curtis made just 12 of its 47 shots (25.5 percent). There wasn’t much room for layups, and even when there was, Lincoln frontcourt player Braggs (a Santa Clara commit), Shawndreia Brown, A’shia Donahue and Morticia McCall typically sent the shot back to sender.
Vikings coach Jackie Thomas said she and Jones spoke before the game about hoping this would be a playoff-type game.
“I’m never pleased with a loss, but this is playoff basketball,” Thomas said. “We got to have playoff basketball in December. That is what Coach Jones and I both wanted to do, was gauge where we are.”
Jalaiya Frederick led Curtis with 11 points.
But she stumbled to her side on the court in a scary moment with about five minutes remaining in the third quarter. She said afterward that she has diabetes and her blood glucose count was running low.
Frederick’s mother gave Thomas the OK to let her back into the game in the fourth quarter.
Lincoln led 29-28 to start the final period before Curtis’ Kaelin Williams-Kennedy went coast to coast to give the Vikings the lead.
But Lincoln responded with an 8-1 run to end the quarter, limiting Curtis to just three points in the final period.
“This is the kind of game that shows that even if we don’t score a bunch, we can still go win the game,” said Jones, who was coaching his first game since the birth of his son, Jaxon, on Dec. 23.
“That’s a good team we just beat. We have the same aspirations in terms of going to state and wanting to do well.”
Curtis is now 5-4 (4-0 in 4A SPSL South play) — with losses to Kentridge, Kentlake, Wilson and Lincoln — despite returning a majority of its players after reaching the regional round of the 4A state tournament last year, when it lost to eventual state champion Gonzaga Prep.
“The emphasis was on defense tonight, and we did our job as far as that goes,” said Thomas of Curtis holding Lincoln to a season-low 37. “But we missed a ton of just little chippies. But what I emphasized was that we play defense.”
Now Lincoln gets to prepare for rival Wilson, which had its coach and players in attendance Tuesday. They play each other Jan. 6 at Lincoln.
“I thought this was a playoff atmosphere,” Jones said. “The kids and the coaches played it like a playoff game. It was fun to watch and we had to show that we could defend and keep them in front and I thought we did a really good job of that.”
Curtis; 11; 8; 9; 5; 33
Lincoln; 12; 6; 11; 8; 37
L: Brantley 4, Turner 2, Montgomery 2, McCall 7, Braggs 18, Brown 4
C: Frederick 11, Perrian 2, Howard 7, Williams-Kennedy 7, Marsh 2, Matz 4