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01/06/2018 - BOYS BASKETBALL: Gators Use Second Half Run To Shut Down Rockets

By Jeff Motz

In what was an offensive struggle, Lincoln North Star made good on some opportunities in the fourth quarter of their Saturday afternoon boys basketball match up against Lincoln Northeast.

The Navigators found some offense about halfway through the third quarter and outscored the Rockets 22-9 in the final 12-and-a-half minutes to earn a 49-30 victory at the Ed Johnson Gym.

North Star (8-4) didn't hit their first basket of the second half until about 4:30 remaining in the third quarter when Dillon Brandt scored from close range to give the Gators a 29-21 advantage.  Northeast went almost the entire third period without scoring until sophomore guard Jake Bard sank a pair of three throws with 1:41 remaining.

The Rockets (0-12) got two more free throws from Carson Busch, who led Northeast in scoring with 10 points, and trailed North Star 32-25 heading to the fourth quarter.

A 17-5 fourth quarter run by the Gators put the game away.  Owen Baker connected on his third three-pointer of the game and two free throws during the stretch. 

Senior forward Alex Goll added two field goals, while Brandt scored another basket and added two free throws while Emmanuel Abdelkarim hit a free throw and scored a layup and Derek Ruhl hit one of two free throws to put the game out of reach.

Brandt finished with a game-high 15 points for North Star, while Baker chipped in 11 points and Goll finished with 10.

Northeast, who shot 10-of-33 from the field in the game, only scored two field goals in the second half, both coming off a pair of layups from 6-3 senior Aidan Glenn and 6-3 junior Tobin Vocasek.

The Rockets had a strong first quarter, keyed by Busch's five points, Glenn's three-pointer and free throw and a pair of baskets from Kobe Schejbal and Kole Connick for a 15-10 lead.

North Star rallied and jumped ahead with an 8-0 run in the second quarter for an 18-15 lead with 4:48 left in the first half.  The Gators led by nine before Northeast guard Yashua Bradley sank a three-pointer from about 40 feet out as the buzzer sounded to narrow the deficit to 27-21 at halftime.

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