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01/05/2018 - BOYS BASKETBALL: Links Shutdown Red Hot Islanders In OT

By Jeff Motz

Six days after their meeting in the third place game of the Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament, Lincoln High looked to get redemption after their seven point loss to Grand Island. 

For much of the game Friday night, it looked in doubt for the Links.

But a second half run with help from Jihad Muhammad and Sammy Richardson turned things around for Lincoln High that helped eliminate a 14-point second quarter deficit and beat Grand Island 74-66 in overtime at Earl Johnson Gym.

The Links (7-4) relied on Muhammad, who led the team in scoring with 23 points, by attacking the basket and drawing defenders on him.  Richardson finally got hot after hitting a key three-point shot to tie the game at 41 with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Grand Island (7-4) managed to keep their distance in the early stages of the fourth quarter, but Lincoln High kept chipping away. Muhammad sank a pair of free throws that gave the Links a 50-49 edge with 3:18 remaining, their first lead since the first quarter when they led 4-2.

Lincoln High took a 58-54 lead with 27 seconds left on one of two free throws from Muhammad.  Following a time out, Grand Island guard Kermit Felicier-Alvarez hit an NBA range three-pointer from the right wing to pull the Islanders within one.  Muhammad then sank two more free throws to give Lincoln High a 60-57 lead with 13 seconds left.

Islander senior guard LeBeck Warren then drew a foul from Richardson when he attempted a three-point shot.  Warren then sank all three free-throws with seven seconds remaining.  The Links tried to counter with a 15-footer from Muhammad that went short, sending the game into overtime.

After both teams scored field goals to open up the extra frame, Lincoln High then rattled off eight unanswered points.  Jaden Horton hit two free-throws, Richardson then scored off an offensive rebound, then 6-4 center Carlos Santistevan sank two free throws and Keyshawn Jenkins added a layup for a 70-62 advantage with less than 1:30 left.

Richardson added 21 points for the Links.  Warren finished with a game-high 25 points for Grand Island, while Will Nordhues added 18 points for the Islanders. 
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