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Lincoln slump in second half gives Foothill win

Zebras score well below average
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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The Lincoln High boys basketball team took a 21-20 lead into halftime only to have visiting Foothill take control in the second half and cruise to a 67-44 victory, Jan. 20. The Fighting Zebras held the Mustangs’ leading scorer, Michael Bryson, to just two points in the first two quarters. But the 6-4 senior broke things open in the second half with his three-point shooting to finish with 16 points. “Effort; we played a 16 minute game tonight,” said Lincoln coach Robert Ash. “I must say our third quarter was horrible execution-wise, effort-wise. We’re a good team but not a good enough team to not play 32 minutes hard.” Bryson was fouled on his first three-point attempt and made all three free throws. He then followed with a couple more threes in succession. That seemed to spark the Mustangs as their press started to work against the Zebras, and they went strong to the boards. “We knew they would be really good on the boards,” said sophomore Ethan Everett, Lincoln’s leading scorer and rebounder. “But we just didn’t body up on anyone. We just kind of touched them.” Unofficially, in quarters three and four the Mustangs nearly doubled the number of rebounds that Lincoln had. “That Bryson thing was my fault,” said Ash. “He’s a really good player and we were going to make him beat us from the outside and he did. (But) what concerns me is in the third quarter we just came out flat.” Lincoln’s Alexis Gonzalez, Kyle Lowe and Adam Felt led the scoring for the Zebras with seven points apiece. Everett had seven rebounds, but scored only four points. Everett said Lincoln’s confidence was down and the club would have to increase its effort going down the stretch if they hoped to stay in the Pioneer Valley League hunt. “For our team, it’s effort now, like one more percent would help us,” Everett said. “The next time with Center and Foothill, we’re going to go all out and show them who we are.” Lincoln was scheduled to play at Placer Wednesday, and then return home for a game against Colfax Friday. JV _ The Fighting Zebras junior varsity nearly blanked Foothill in the second half and crushed the visiting Mustangs 67-28. After taking a 12-point lead into halftime, the Zebras came out with a defense that held Foothill scoreless until the 1:25 mark of the fourth quarter. The Mustangs scored five points the rest of the way. “We have four zone defenses, but they’re all match up,” said Lincoln head JV coach Chance Peterson. “So a lot of teams confuse them with man-to-man but they’re really a match up.” Peterson substituted players five at a time. The relentless pressure wore down the Mustangs, which led to a number of easy baskets. “Starting 3-0 in league is a great start,” Peterson said crediting a tough preseason schedule to help prepare for the PVL. “We’re pressing all the time; we’re pushing the ball as much as we can.” Freshman guard John Reyes scored 19 in the contest, including three 3-pointers and 4-6 from the free throw line. Freshman Mitchell Holt scored eight. Frosh _ Lincoln’s freshman squad fell to Foothill, 63-43. FOOTHILL 67, LINCOLN 44 Mustangs 11 20 27 20 – 67 Zebras 11 21 11 12 – 44 Rebounds – FH – 23, LN – 20. Turnovers – FH – 10, LN – 17.