Basketball preview

Lincoln High Fighting Zebras
By: Andrew Hazard News Messenger Sports Correspondent
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BOYS BASKETBALL With a chance to finish the season in second or third place in the Pioneer Valley League, the Lincoln High School varsity boys basketball team is hoping to end the regular season on a strong note. The Fighting Zebras (3-4 PVL, 12-12 overall) end the season with an interesting home game and what should be an easy road game. Lincoln hosts Placer (3-4 PVL, 16-8 overall) on senior night tonight. The winner of this game should finish no lower than third in the PVL. Sophomore center Ethan Everett (11.4 points per game), sophomore guard Marcus Salgado (9.9 ppg) and Travis Miskell (9.8 ppg) need to have big offensive outputs if the Fighting Zebras are going to win. Lincoln’s ability to score second-chance points will be the key. Everett (12.4 rebounds per game), junior forward James Pallas (9.7 rpg), sophomore forward Adam Felt (8.0 rpg) and junior guard Steven Venturino (7.6 rpg) need to clean up on the boards if the Fighting Zebras are going to win. With the win and some help from some other teams, Lincoln still might be able to clinch a playoff berth. They stand 17th in the Sac-Joaquin Section Power Ratings and are right on the bubble. Colfax _ The Fighting Zebras’ last game of the regular season is on the road at struggling Colfax (0-7 PVL, 9-15 overall) on Feb. 14. The Falcons have lost 10 in a row. Lincoln defeated Colfax at home 73-56 on Jan. 27. The Falcons only average 29.8 ppg. Junior forward Will Buell is Colfax’s leading scorer (7.6 ppg). Lincoln should be able to finish the season strong with a couple of big victories. GIRLS BASKETBALL At 1-5 in the PVL and 7-15 overall, the Lincoln High School varsity girls basketball team is about to finish up its 2011-12 season. The Fighting Zebras finish the year with a tough but winnable game and one really difficult matchup. Lincoln’s final road game of the year is at Placer (2-3 PVL, 11 overall) on Feb. 10. Winning on the road is always hard, but the Fighting Zebras should be up for the challenge. Lincoln’s senior night is against Colfax (6-0 PVL, 15-7 overall) on Feb. 15. The Falcons are leading the PVL. Even though this season was disappointing for the Fighting Zebras, Lincoln has an exciting future. Six of its 12 players should be returning next year, including sophomores Kaylee Avilla and Riley Sims.