Lincoln’s defense helps Abes top Foss

// Life Christian outlasts Seattle Christian

The Foss Falcons weren’t able to keep up with the Lincoln Abes on Jan. 3, falling to their division rival 61-40 in an early Narrows 3A crosstown showdown. Lincoln was led by junior Josiah Barsh with 18 points and freshman Londrell Hamilton with 13 points, while Foss was led by senior Ar'Mond Davis with 17 points and senior Olashawan Miller with 13 points.

“We wanted to play Lincoln defense. We've been doing a great job defensively as a team the last few weeks,” Abes head coach Aubrey Shelton said.

The first quarter not only showcased Lincoln's (8-0, 2-0 3A Narrows) defense, but the Falcons’ (7-2, 4-1 3A Narrows) as well. The Abes came out strong with a quick two points, but Foss was able to continuously answer back, at one point taking their only lead of the night at 6-4 near the middle of the quarter. But the buzzer rang, and Lincoln was on top 14-10 heading into the second period.

The Abes were able to take control early in the second, going on a five-point run after the Falcons opened the quarter with a basket that brought them within two. From there the back and forth continued, with the Falcons never able to catch the Abes. Near the end of the quarter, Lincoln’s Londrell Hamilton scored five straight points to give the Abes a nine-point lead at 26-17. From there, a back-and-forth shootout led to Foss trailing, but still in the game, at halftime, 36-27.

“In the first half we were shooting one-on-one shots, trying to do it ourselves,” Lincoln guard Josiah Barsh said of the Abes’ inability to pull ahead in the first half.

Lincoln locked up their victory in the second half, stepping up their defensive game by only allowing nine points from Foss in the third quarter.

The Falcons, matching pace with Lincoln, only allowed 10 points in the third, ending the quarter still down, 46-36. Lincoln began to wear down Foss in the final quarter, keeping them scoreless for the first five minutes while pulling ahead with a seven-point run. The patented Lincoln defense finally won out, as the Abes only allowed four points in the fourth, while scoring 15 to secure the win, 61-40. Foss will go on to face off against Wilson on Jan. 10, while Lincoln will go on to face Shelton on the same night.

By Derek Shuck

EAGLES HOLD OFF WARRIORS FOR KEY WIN

Life Christian used a balanced attack to build a 19-point halftime lead, and held off a late charge from Seattle Christian for a 50-46 win at home on Jan. 7.

The Eagles trailed 6-4 midway through the first quarter before Jordan Bowles nailed a three-pointer that started a 28-7 run for Life Christian to take control before the half.

“I thought we played with great composure,” said Eagles head coach Mark Lovelady. “I thought our kids, against their zone, handled their little half-court trap that they run. We were looking in the inside, looking in the high post. We were just sharing the ball.”

Junior center Luke Grocott was the Eagles’ inside presence, scoring a couple of baskets in the second quarter, the second of which put Life Christian up 26-13 with 2:18 until halftime. Grocott finished with a team-high 12 points and seven rebounds.

“I was just trying to get good position, first off. (Guard) Taylor (Roelofs) was making good passes to me, the wings were making good passes to me. I was just trying to make one move and go up strong.”

Sophomore guard Wyatt Dunlap – who finished with 10 points and six rebounds off the bench – hit a three-pointer 12 seconds before halftime to put the Eagles up 32-13 at the break. They allowed just four field goals to the Eagles in the first half.

But the Warriors responded, forcing Life Christian into some careless turnovers and outscoring the Eagles 15-7 in the third period. They moved even closer in the fourth, as Taggart Anderson – who finished with a game-high 16 points – nailed a three-pointer to cut it to 41-31 with just under five minutes to go.

“In the first half we were doing a lot better job on defense,” said Roelofs, who scored eight points and added six rebounds for the Eagles. “We were communicating better, boxing out and not giving them second-chance opportunities. We lost a little bit of focus in the second half, being up by a lot, and let up on the defensive side of things. In the future we’ve got to keep pressure on them and keep rebounding.”

Jeffrey Sutherland got the Warriors within 44-37 with a three-point play with 3:29 remaining, but Tyler Bogue fed Grocott for an easy layup and followed by banking in a jumper on the next possession to regain a 48-39 advantage for the Eagles.

The Eagles moved to 7-4 overall and evened their record to 3-3 in the Nisqually 1A Conference. They will travel to Cedar Park Christian on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. and host Eatonville on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.

By Jeremy Helling

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