HUNTINGTON — This past Saturday, Lincoln’s eighth grade boys basketball team defeated Riverview (Huntington) to claim the championship of the Northeast Lakes Middle School Conference.
The Red Storm were down big early in the championship, facing a 12-5 deficit at the end of one quarter. They clamped down defensively, only allowing Huntington three points the rest of the half and led 16-15 at haltime on a buzzer-beating tip-in by Jake Young.
The second half was more of the same strong defense shown all year by the future Pilgrims as they held Riverview to 12 points in the second half while scoring 21 of their own to close their season with the 37-27 victory and the repeat NELMSC title.
Nick Felke led all scorers with 14 points, bolstered by seven points from John Gerard. The Red Storm finished with a record of 22-1 and repeat as undefeated conference champions.
Lincoln began its run to the conference championship last Thursday night at Warsaw Lakeview in a tense defensive battle that saw the two teams exchanging leads multiple times in the first half. The Red Storm quickly took control after the half, however, to extend their lead on the way to the 33-23 final.
Lincoln’s defense was again the story of the game as it forced 18 turnovers on the night. Young led the scoring with nine points. Felke and David Bacon added six apiece for the winning team.
The team then traveled to Crestview Middle School of Huntington for the semifinals Saturday. Lincoln came on out fire on both ends of the floor and did not let up in the first half, leading 16-6 after the first quarter and 31-12 at the half on the way to a 43-22 win. The team balanced scoring duties with Ryan Carmichael, Gerard, Felke and Young each scoring nine points in the victory.