This past weekend was a tough one for the boys of the Lincoln County High School basketball team, with two hard-fought losses against some of the toughest teams in the state.
The games began Jan. 31 as the boys faced off against the Moapa Valley Pirates at home. This was the second time the Lynx (7-2, 12-8) faced the Pirates, having defeated them by 10 points earlier in the season. The story changed drastically once the Lynx faced them in Panaca, going back and forth with their opponent and taking the lead before the end of the first half. However, the Pirates came out of the locker room swinging, outscoring Lincoln County by 11 points in the third quarter. It was a fairly close game as the two teams battled it out on the court, but despite scoring more in the fourth quarter than their adversaries, the Lynx lost the game by three points, 63-60.
Despite this, the effort put in by the Lynx was apparent in their stats for the evening. Kobe Kelley and Cody Zile scored 15 points each. A large portion of those points, in Kelley’s case, came from 3-pointers. Zile, on the other hand, was very active on defense, pulling in 15 rebounds and stealing the ball four times, more than the next two players combined. Dylan Robinson was also a key member of their performance, getting 13 points, three rebounds and two steals before the end of the game.
The next evening, the Lynx played host to the Lake Mead Eagles. Fans of the Lynx came out to support the team in droves, wearing dark colors for a “Blackout Game.” While the game against Moapa Valley didn’t count towards league standings, this one did, which put more on the line. Coach Sean Fitzsimons had mentioned earlier in the day that this was “going to be a tough game.” These two teams had met just the weekend before in Las Vegas, with the Lynx coming out on top by a significant amount.
It was obvious the Eagles wanted payback, as right out of the gate they began to dominate the Lynx. It seemed like every shot the Eagles took, they scored, while the Lynx couldn’t make a basket. The tone shifted during the second quarter, with the Lynx settling into their groove as they closed the gap. Despite this, the second half started with Lake Mead in the lead, and while the Lynx put up a valiant fight and made some key plays, the Eagles finished the game with a six-point lead over the Lynx, 65-59.
This loss, while difficult, saw some impressive numbers on the part of the Lynx. Kelley scored nearly half of the points, 26. Zile and Robinson did their part as well, scoring 15 and 10 points respectively. Another standout performer was Talon Phillips who pulled in 11 rebounds, most of which were offensive. Overall, the team scored 38 percent of their attempted 2-pointers, 30 percent of their 3-pointers and 70 percent of their free throws.
The losses dropped Lincoln to 12-8 overall and 7-2 in the 2A Southern League. They currently have the second-best league record.
The Lynx will face the Calvary Chapel Lions (10-11, 5-6) for a second time at home Feb. 7, followed by the first place Meadows Mustangs (16-4, 10-0) Feb. 8.