Lincoln holds off Center rally for 57-50 win
PIONEER VALLEY LEAGUE
Girls Basketball Standings
Colfax (1-0, 16-1) win over Placer 50-48 (OT)
Foothill (1-0, 15-2) win over Bear River 62-42
Lincoln (1-0, 10-8) win over Center 57-50
Bear River (0-1, 12-4) loss to Foothill 62-42
Placer (0-1, 10-7) loss to Colfax 50-48 (OT)
Center (0-1, 9-9) loss to Lincoln 57-50
LINCOLN HOME GAMES
Jan. 24 (Wed.) Bear River 7 p.m.
Jan. 26 (Fri.) Placer 7 p.m.
The Lincoln High girls basketball team got off to a good start in the Pioneer Valley League, defeating Center 57-50 at home Friday.
The Fighting Zebras took a three-point lead in the first quarter, but blew the game open in the second frame. Lincoln buried four 3-point shots and entered intermission leading 30-17.
“We played very, very well for about three quarters tonight,” said Lincoln head coach Tim Sprinkles. “In terms of how the girls are playing at this point in the year, for the first three quarters of this game, yes, I’m exactly where I wanted to be in how we’re playing.”
Sprinkles was referring to a Zebras’ letdown in the fourth quarter. They had taken a 13-point lead at the end of three quarters, but found Center’s fourth-quarter press a bit troublesome.
Center forced a number of turnovers, hit two treys and picked up eight points on free-throws to make the game a little closer than how it started. Sprinkles called a couple timeouts to help his club to relax and refocus.
“It’s easy to fall victim to pressure. Everything feels like it’s a panic,” Sprinkles said. “It was a good test for us because, ultimately, some nights we can break a press, no problem. And other nights are like this; every possession is an absolute grind.”
The Zebras got a couple baskets inside from Kalyna Kim and Tyler Smith to slow the Cougars’ rally. Lincoln shot 50 percent from the free-throw line to help offset Center’s charity tosses.
With Madison Roberts unable to make the game and Sukhleen Gill suffering a twisted ankle in the first half, the coach got some good minutes from sophomore Stephanie Vite. Sprinkles brought up Vite from the junior varsity to help fill vacancies in his roster.
“[S]he gives us a nice presence inside in terms of height,” Sprinkles said of the near 6-foot post player. “She’s still got a lot of learning to do … she’s real new to basketball. She’s got a real high ceiling in terms of potential.”
Kim was a bit off from the 3-point arc, but shot a solid 58 percent inside. The junior finished with 18 points, Makayla Franco added 10 and Keegan Linke nine.
The Zebras were solid on the boards, pulling down 37 rebounds. Franco collected nine caroms, Linke eight and Carolyn McCommas six. Lincoln had nine steals in the contest, but turned the ball over 19 times.
This week the Zebras have to travel to Foothill and Colfax; both were winners of their first PVL contests, as well.