It’s hard to call a game 10 games into the season a “must win” but a victory on Saturday, Dec. 18 against Southwestern would go a long way toward boosting the confidence of the Lincolnwood boys basketball team.
The Lancers were 2-7 in their first nine games, all of which took place on the road. In addition to Saturday being Lincolnwood’s first home game, it was also the TEAM check presentation, which was done before the varsity contest and brought in $23,500 for Lincolnwood athletics from the annual golf tournament.
The celebration didn’t stop with the check presentation, though, as the Lancers came away with a much needed win, 40-38 in overtime.
The Lancers trailed 4-0 in the early minutes, before Brady Schmedeke put them out in front with a three and a two in a 20 second span. After a Southwestern bucket by Hank Bouillon, Gabe Armentrout hit a three to put Lincolnwood up 8-6 with just over two minutes to play.
The lead didn’t last long, though, as Southwestern went on a 7-0 run to take a 13-8 lead after eight minutes. The Piasa Birds’ five-point advantage would be the biggest of the game for either team.
Armentrout cut the lead to three with a basket on an offensive rebound 45-seconds into the second quarter and neither team would be more than three points from the lead the rest of the way. The Lancer sophomore hit his second three less than a minute later to tie the game at 13-13.
The two teams would trade points after that, with Lincolnwood taking a 21-18 lead at halftime thanks to four straight free throws by Braden Whalen and Will Jenkins. The Lancers’ work at the charity stripe would be a factor in the game as they went 12-for-14 from the free-throw line.
The teeter-totter theme of the second quarter continued in the second half as no team strung together more than four points before the other halted the streak. Whalen had four of the Lancers’ six points in the quarter, with Trenton Watson scoring the other two.
Lincolnwood was up two with two minutes to play, but Southwestern got two free throws in the final minute to tie the game at 27 with eight minutes to play.
After a scoreless first two minutes, Lincolnwood pulled ahead when Whalen blocked a Southwestern shot, made an outlet pass to Brady Schmedeke, who in turn found Will Jenkins in the corner for an open three. Southwestern answered with a three from Rocky Darr, marking the first of four times the score would be tied after Jenkins gave the Lancers the lead.
After a basket by Bouillon made it 32-30 in the Birds’ favor, Trenton Watson went on a tear. The sophomore forward drove to the hoop for his sixth point of the game, then stole the ball at midcourt in the next possession for a steal and score that gave the Lancers a 34-32 lead with three minutes to play.
Neither team would hit a shot in the final three minutes, with Southwestern getting four points from free throws and Lincolnwood getting two. Both had chances to avoid overtime, but Lane Gage missed a three for the Birds and Will Jenkins’ three at the buzzer went off the front of the rim to keep the score at 36-36 at the end of regulation.
Whalen, the Lancers’ leading scorer this season, took over early in the overtime period, hitting a shot to give Lincolnwood a 38-36 advantage 40 seconds into the extra frame.
Whalen’s bucket would be the only field goal of the overtime period as both teams ramped things up on the defensive end. Each would hit two free throws the rest of the way out, with Whalen knocking down both, the second of which came with 3.9 seconds left to make it 40-38.
The Piasa Birds had one last chance to pull ahead and got the ball to Carson Cooley on the inbounds. Cooley, who shared the team-lead with 10 points, got a three off at the buzzer, but the shot was well defended and came up short to give the Lancers the win.
Whalen led all scorers with 12 points, including all four in the Lancers’ overtime period, while Gabe Armentrout added eight before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Trenton Watson also had eight, a career high and nearly as many points as the young forward had going into the game (10). Will Jenkins and Brady Schmedeke wrapped up the scoring with seven and five respectively as the Lancers improved to 3-7 on the year.
The win was all the sweeter as it came on the heels of one of the Lancers’ toughest losses of the season, a 51-28 affair the night before against South County.
Shooting woes and foul trouble haunted the Lancers, who were down 31-19 after three quarters, but were outscored 20-9 in the final frame.
Whalen had 11 to continue his streak of games in double digits, which increased to eight after the Southwestern contest, but the Morrisonville junior was the only Lincolnwood player in double digits.
Gabe Armentrout added seven points, followed by Brady Schmedeke with five, Will Jenkins with three and Jonah Elvidge with two. Trevor Colwell led all scorers with 19 points as South County picked up their first win of the season.
Lincolnwood will be back at home on Tuesday, Dec. 21, for their last game before the Waverly Holiday Tournament. The Lancers will take on Bunker Hill, with a JV start time of 6 p.m.
December 17 at Waverly
Lincolnwood 7 10 2 9 28
South County 15 10 6 20 51
Lincolnwood (28) - Braden Whalen 11, Gabe Armentrout 7, Brady Schmedeke 5, Will Jenkins 3, Jonah Elvidge 2. Totals: 10 5-14 28.
South County (51) - Trevor Colwell 19, Trenton Sampson 12, Noah Lyons 5, Thad Bergschneider 4, Matt Crow 4, Clark Nelson 3, Tyler Kanganis 3, Jayden Turner 1. Totals: 18 10-17 51.
Three-point field goals: Lincolnwood 3 (Schmedeke 1, Whalen 1 Armentrout 1); South County 5 (Colwell 3, Kanganis 1, Sampson 1).
Records: South County (1-8); Lincolnwood (2-7, 1-1).
December 18 at Raymond
Southwestern 13 5 9 9 2 38
Lincolnwood 8 13 6 9 4 40
Southwestern (38) - Cooley 10, Brantley 10, Keith 8, Darr 4, Bouillon 4, Gage 2. Totals: 13 10-16 38.
Lincolnwood (40) - Braden Whalen 12, Gabe Armentrout 8, Trenton Watson 8, Will Jenkins 7, Brady Schmedeke 5. Totals: 12 12-14 40.
Three-point field goals: Southwestern 2 (Darr 1, Cooley 1); Lincolnwood 4 (Armentrout 2, Jenkins 1, Schmedeke 1).
Records: Lincolnwood (3-7); Southwestern (4-6).
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