- Vaughn-Taylor's three boosts Rockets past Links
By Lincoln Prep Sports.com Staff
Jerry Vaughn-Taylor is not necessarily one of Lincoln Northeast's top three-point shooters. But the 6-0 senior proved to his coach, teammates, opponents and the many who packed Lincoln High's Earl Johnson Gym Thursday night that he too can hit the tray in the clutch. Vaughn-Taylor's three ultimately decided a hard fought game, as the Class "A" second-ranked Rockets remain undefeated with a 70-67 win against the ninth-rated Links. For Northeast, the win didn't come very easy.
Outside of an early 3-1 Northeast lead, Lincoln High took charge early on in the first quarter behind the shooting of Josh Riser and Drew Bohlke and led 20-14 at the end of the period.
Both teams were also clashing underneath the hoop throughout the contest, as Northeast's Wendell Faines and Lincoln High's Josiah Parker were collecting blocks in the paint. The Links got a spark on the inside from 6-7 back up center Tim Ondrak, who game off the bench to score eight points and helped Lincoln High to a 38-34 lead at halftime.
By the third quarter, Northeast scored five quick points out the shoot to lead 39-38 before Lincoln High would rely on big baskets from Bohlke and Riser to go ahead 55-42 halfway through the period. The Rockets would narrow the lead down to eight after three quarters trailing 59-51.
It was during that stretch between the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter that Northeast would capitalize and outscore Lincoln High 20-5 before Kent Urban's three that tied the game up at 60 a piece at about the 4:00 mark of the ballgame. Bohlke would soon nail his fourth three-pointer to give Lincoln High the lead back at 64-62 and on the next Northeast possession, Urban nailed his fifth three of the night to put the Rockets up 65-64.
With under a minute to play, Northeast had possesion of the basketball and melted time away before calling a timeout with 13 seconds remaining to design a play for Super Stater Andrew Bridger to hit the go ahead basket. But with the Links doubling up coverage on Bridger, that left Vaughn-Taylor open to hit the game winning three.
Riser led all scorers with 23 points on the night for Lincoln High, while Drew Bohlke finished with 16 in the losing effort for the Links. Northeast had four players in double figures, including Urban with 17 points, Bridger with 15, Vaughn-Taylor with 13 and Faines ended the night with 12 points.
Lincoln High falls to 6-5 on the season, while Northeast improves to 13-0.