On a night where Nokomis honored one of the best post players in the program’s history, the Redskins dominated down low in a 64-25 victory over Lincolnwood.
By the time the Redskins honored 2020 grad Carter Sabol, the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, at halftime senior forward Jake Johnson and his junior teammate Ryan Eisenbarth had already eclipsed their season averages, with Eisenbarth doing so and then some in the first quarter.
Averaging just over seven points per game coming into the match-up with the Lancers, Eisenbarth exploded for 14 points in the opening eight minutes, hitting all seven shots he took from the field. Eisenbarth was actually averaging six points per game two days earlier, but had scored a then season-best 19 in a loss to Calvary.
Despite the Redskins’ scoring burst down low, Lincolnwood kept pace thanks to a steady three-point barrage in the first three minutes. Will Jenkins started off the game with a three for the Lancers, then hit another to put them up 6-4. Jonah Elvidge added a three from the corner seconds later and Lincolnwood led 9-4 with five minutes to play in the first.
But as the quarter wore on, the Redskins amped up their defense. Every time Jenkins touched the ball a Nokomis defender was there, inches away to keep the senior guard from hitting another three.
The pressure held Lincolnwood to just four points in the final five minutes, all coming from guard Braden Whalen. Conversely, Nokomis scored 18 points in the same span, 10 coming from Eisenbarth, six coming from Elijah Aumann and two coming from freshman Ian Keller to make it 22-13 after eight minutes.
The defensive blitzkrieg by Nokomis continued in the second quarter as they held Lincolnwood scoreless for the first five minutes and limited the Lancers to just four points in the quarter. Eisenbarth continued his success on the offensive end, going 3-for-3 to give himself 20 points by halftime, while Jake Johnson also caught fire, hitting a pair of field goals and four free throws in as many attempts to help the Redskins to a 38-17 halftime lead. The dagger for the Lancers came at the buzzer, when they blocked a Redskin shot attempt, only to have the ball fall to Eisenbarth, who knocked down a mid-range fallaway jumper as the final horn sounded.
The second quarter proved to be a sign of things to come for the Lancers, who were outscored 19-5 in the third quarter, with their only field goal not coming until Whalen scored with 1:48 to go in the period. Johnson added six more points to his total, while Aumann chipped in seven in the frame to give Nokomis two more players in double digits in addition to Eisenbarth.
With Nokomis up 57-22 going into the fourth, the clock ran continuously due to the mercy rule. The Redskins added four more points to their lead, outscoring the Lancers 7-3.
The final point came from Mason Stauder on a free throw. Stauder had the opportunity for a rare buzzer-beater free throw at the end of the game, but missed his second charity toss just before the final horn.
The dominating win was a welcome sight for the Redskins after the tough loss to Calvary by six the night before. Nokomis allowed a season-high 63 points against the Saints on Thursday, but rallied to allow their second fewest points of the season on Friday against the Lancers (they allowed just 24 against Mt. Olive).
Offensively, Eisenbarth added two points in the fourth quarter to finish with a career-best 22 points on 11-for-11 shooting from the field. The junior forward also had six rebounds for the Redskins.
Jake Johnson added in 16 points and five rebounds, while Elijah Aumann finished with 15 points, his 14th game of the season in double figures. Ian Keller added a season-best eight points, while Reece Lohman (2) and Mason Stauder (1) finished out the scoring for Nokomis.
Braden Whalen led Lincolnwood with 10 points, his 12th double digit game out of 15. Will Jenkins and Jonah Elvidge added in six and five, while Jared Klein (3) and Gabe Armentrout (1) also scored for the Lancers.
Lincolnwood's next game is Monday, Jan. 10, at home against Roxana (varsity only at 6 p.m.), while Nokomis travels to Pana Thursday, Jan. 13.
January 7 at Nokomis
Lincolnwood 13 4 5 3 25
Nokomis 22 16 19 7 64
Lincolnwood (25) - Braden Whalen 10, Will Jenkins 6, Jonah Elvidge 5, Jared Klein 3, Gabe Armentrout 1. Totals: 9 3-5 25.
Nokomis (64) - Ryan Eisenbarth 22, Jake Johnson 16, Elijah Aumann 15, Ian Keller 8, Reece Lohman 2, Mason Stauder 1. Totals: 25 13-16 64.
Three-point field goals: Lincolnwood 4 (Jenkins 2, Elvidge 1, Klein 1); Nokomis 1 (Aumann 1).
Records: Nokomis (9-7, 2-1); Lincolnwood (6-10, 1-2).
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