It’s been a long time since the Class 4-A No. 7 Abraham Lincoln boys lost a city game — nearly seven years.
The last city team to beat the Lynx, Lewis Central, had a chance to end the streak down just three points with 5:35 to play at the A.L. Fieldhouse Friday.
But Lincoln was able to hold off the Titans down the stretch to earn a 55-44 win and extend its dominance over city teams to 32 straight games.
Sophomore Josh Dix led A.L. with 18 points as the Lynx outscored Lewis Central 29-19 in the second half.
Noah Rigatuso scored 15 points for the Titans while Thomas Fidone added 10.
Lincoln coach Jason Isaacson said his team was able to adapt to the Titans’ physical style despite being outmatched in size.
“Two teams that really want to win and two teams that were fighting,” Isaacson said. “They’ve got a little bit of size and physicality on us.
“But I told our guys, I mean it didn’t need to be pretty. This time of the year you play different teams with different styles. You’ve just got to keep finding a way to win.”
Lewis Central hurt itself at the free-throw line, making just 8 of 18 for the game while the Lynx were 9 of 13.
Titans’ coach Dan Miller said that was the the main stat that jumped out at him.
“The free-throw line has been a problem for us all year. Against good teams like that, it really shows itself,” Miller said.
“I thought we had some really good looks at being around the basket. Maybe we could have shot a few more free throws. I thought we made some good, strong moves to the bucket.”
The Titans led 8-7 midway through the first quarter.
But A.L. responded with an 11-0 run to end the quarter and led 18-8 to start the second.
Lewis Central crept to within 24-18 when Cole Drummond was fouled when he sank a layup and hit the following free throw.
Then the Titans finished the half on a 7-0 run to cut their deficit to a point and go into halftime down 26-25.
The Lynx outscored L.C. 12-6 in the third quarter to go to the final quarter with a 38-31 advantage.
Kaden Baxter put Lincoln ahead 41-31 when he nailed a 3-pointer to open the fourth.
But a 7-0 Titan run had Lewis Central right back in it, down 41-38 with 5:35 left in the game.
A pair of Christian Tidiane free throws put A.L. up 47-40 with 2:20 remaining and Dix made it 51-40 on a steal and a layup 1:11 later.
Isaacson attributed the success during the city streak to his players.
“That’s a credit to our kids,” he said. “If you really want to go deep into it, it’s a credit to kind of some of the beginning kids when I first started here. Our first year, we weren’t in that situation. We were 5-17.
“Kids just started believing and buying in. So it’s nice to see kids, you know, get better continuing that streak.”
Lewis Central (12-7) 8 17 6 13—44
Abraham Lincoln (19-1) 18 8 12 17—55
LC: Cole Drummond 7, Easton Dermody 2, Logan Jones 9, Noah Rigatuso 15, Brady Miller 1, Thomas Fidone 10.
AL: Christian Tidiane 6, Josh Dix 18, Matt Evans 6, Kaden Baxter 9, Devin Nichols 2, Andrew Christensen 8, Noah Sandbothe 4.
Lewis Central girls 53, Abraham Lincoln 38
A 20-0 first-half run by the Class 4-A No. 7 Lewis Central girls proved to be too much for 5-A No. 14 Abraham Lincoln as the visiting Titans downed the Lynx 53-38.
Megan Witte led Lewis Central with 14 points while Delaney Esterling added 12 as the Titans ended the regular season by winning 11 of their last 12.
“That’s two pretty good girls basketball teams facing-off tonight,” Lewis Central coach Derek Archer said. “We knew it was going to be kind of an up-and-down game and we knew they were going to play hard and we knew it was going to be a great environment. I was just really, really happy with the way we played defensively tonight.”
Jillian Shanks paced the Lynx with 11 points and Kayla Schleifman scored eight.
The Lynx led 7-2 early before the Titans answered with 20 straight points to take a 22-7 lead with 3:55 remaining in the first half.
“I’m pretty sure they went on a 20-0 run so we just couldn’t respond,” A.L. coach Chad Schaa said. “And then in the second half, we were able to trade baskets with them but unfortunately at that point, we can’t just trade baskets. Great effort from our girls, just couldn’t make baskets when we needed to.”
Lewis Central (17-5 overall) led 29-17 at halftime behind Witte’s nine first-half points.
Shanks and Julia Wagoner each had five first-half points to lead A.L. which finished the regular season at 15-6.
The Titans carried a 39-27 advantage into the fourth quarter where they outscored the Lynx 14-11.
Lewis Central (17-5) 10 19 10 14—53
Abraham Lincoln (15-6) 7 10 10 11—38
LC: Hadley Hill 8, McKenna Paulsen 5, Isabella Smith 5, McKenna Pettepier 9, Megan Witte 14, Delaney Esterling 12.
AL: Jillian Shanks 11, Kayla Schliefman 8, Alexis Pomernackas 2, Baylie Girres 6, Julia Wagoner 7, Lucy Turner 4.