They say that adversity makes strange bedfellows, which were the circumstances of the meeting between the Lincolnwood and Roxana boys basketball teams on Monday, Jan. 10. At 536 students, Roxana’s enrollment is double that of Lincolnwood even when factoring in the co-op with Morrisonville, but with cancellations due to COVID and weather, the Shells and Lancers took the opportunity to square off on Monday and get some experience under their belts.
The game could not have started any better for the Lancers, but a second half comeback by the Shells resulted in a close game for Lincolnwood, who eventually won 37-29.
The difference in the eight-point win proved to be the first quarter, when Lincolnwood got seven points from Will Jenkins and four from Braden Whalen to put up 11 points as a team in the quarter. While that’s a respectable total, the real story was the Lancer defense, who shut out the Shells in the first eight minutes. Not only was Roxana held without a field goal, but they also missed four chances from the free-throw line and faced an uphill climb the rest of the game.
The Shells would finally get on the board 20 seconds into the second quarter on a basket by Evan Wells and would follow that with a three by Chris Walleck to cut the deficit to six points. The two teams would trade baskets in the second half of the quarter and it looked as if Roxana might be down by single digits at the break before Will Jenkins drilled a catch-and-shoot three at the buzzer to boost the lead back to 12 at 18-6.
As it turns out, Lincolnwood would need every single one of those points as Roxana started to chip away at the lead. A bucket by Brady Schmedeke 30 seconds into the third quarter gave Lincolnwood a 14-point lead, their biggest of the game, but the Shells would begin to chip away at the advantage. The visitors outscored Lincolnwood 12-7 in the third quarter to make it a seven point game, 25-18, going into the final eight minutes.
The momentum from the third carried over to the fourth for the Shells, who scored the first three points of the fourth quarter on a two by Chris Walleck and a free throw from Ashton Noble, a 6’3” forward who had all 10 of his points in the second half. The lead volleyed from four to six after baskets by Whalen and Schmedeke for Lincolnwood and Noble for Roxana, before Whalen was fouled on a breakaway and sank the free throw for a three-point play and a 32-23 Lincolnwood lead with 3:18 to play.
Just when you thought the game was in the bag, Roxana came back again. The Shells scored six straight points, capitalizing on three straight Lancer turnovers to cut the lead down to 32-29 with 1:34 to play. After getting the ball back, Roxana worked for a tying shot, but was called for a five-second violation to return the ball to the Lancers.
From there, Jenkins took over from the free-throw line. The senior guard hit 6-of-7 free throws in the final 46 seconds of the game and had a steal and a defensive rebound that helped seal the win for the Lancers.
The free throws at the end of the game boosted Jenkins’ point total to 17 points, which led all scorers. Braden Whalen added 11 points, including five in the fourth quarter, while Brady Schmedeke had six. Gabe Armentrout finished out the scoring with a third quarter three-pointer, which at the time boosted the Lincolnwood lead to 10.
With the win, Lincolnwood improves to 7-10 on the year, with five wins coming in their last eight games. The Lancers were scheduled to play at Mulberry Grove on Friday, Jan. 14, but COVID cancelled that game and put another Metro-East team, Father McGivney, on Lincolnwood’s schedule. Unfortunately, that game was also cancelled late Wednesday, along with the girls basketball games on Jan. 17 and 18 and the JV tournament on Jan. 15.
January 10 at Raymond
Roxana 0 6 12 11 29
Lincolnwood 11 7 7 12 37
Roxana (29) - Chris Walleck 12, Ashton Noble 10, Evan Wells 4, Aidan Briggs 3. Totals: 10 7-15 29.
Lincolnwood (37) - Will Jenkins 17, Braden Whalen 11, Brady Schmedeke 6, Gabe Armentrout 3. Totals: 13 8-9 37.
Three-point field goals: Roxana 2 (Walleck 2); Lincolnwood 3 (Jenkins 2, Armentrout 1).
Records: Lincolnwood (7-10); Roxana (3-11).
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