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CURRENT ARTICLE
12/19/2009 - HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL: LINKS TAKE OFF EARLY ON TIGERS

(NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR)

By RYLY JANE HAMBLETON
Lincoln Journal Star

Lincoln High turned on the jets with four minutes left in the first half.

That propelled the Links into the lead, and they didn't give Fremont a chance to get back in the game. The Class A fifth-rated Links pulled away for a 65-48 boys basketball victory, handing the Tigers their first loss of the season.

The Links were 6-for-8 from the field in the decisive four-minute stretch, hitting from inside and outside to rally from a 23-19 deficit to take a 35-28 halftime lead.

"I probably didn't manage the end of the first half very well," said Fremont coach Mark Williams. "We had some foul trouble, but maybe I have to take a chance with that.

"I didn't think we could lose the game in the first half."

John Harris Jr. got the Links started with a pair of free throws, then fed Demarius Lott to tie the game. Tommy Johnson hit one of his three three-pointers after an assist from Jared Sapp.

Garrett Cobb completed a three-point play for Fremont before Deondre White nailed a three and drove for a layup, then Dylan Flinn fired a pass across the lane to Johnson for a layup.

Ian Nick scored on a wild Lincoln High turnover and flip to the basket, but the Links scored just before halftime when Flinn hung in the air and tipped a missed layup in for a 35-28 lead.

"We were moving in our offense more and got the tempo going," said Johnson, who led the Links with 15 points. "We just got in a groove."

Lincoln High (4-1) made sure Fremont wouldn't get any ideas about a comeback, going on an 11-3 run to open the second half.

Fremont cut the deficit back to 10 points when Cobb opened the fourth quarter with a basket, but Lincoln High reeled off 10 unanswered points. Tobin Reinwald drove twice for layups, Flinn scored on a putback and Harris drove for two layups.

The Links finished the game hitting 58 percent from the field. In the final 20 minutes, they were 19-for-28 (68 percent).

"I don't think we've given up that many layups in our first four games combined," Williams said. "I wasn't prepared for their guards' physicality."

White and Harris each had 12 points, and Flinn had 14 points, 10 rebounds, two blocked shots and a pair of assists.

"They run a structured ball-screen offense, and we wanted to disrupt that," said Lincoln High coach Dan Noble. "We got the tempo into our favor."

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