Dave Rice 12:24 p.m., May 20
Hornets put away Saints in second overtime to extend local streak
NORTH PARK – In a hostile road environment on Wednesday night, fourth-ranked Lincoln kept its San Diego winning streak alive – but just barely. The Hornets needed two overtimes to outlast sixth-ranked St. Augustine, pulling away in double overtime for a 74-63 win in a Western League showdown.
“It means a lot – we had to get the win here. It’s a small gym, it doesn’t hold that many people, but they get this thing loud,” said Lincoln junior guard Tyree Robinson. “It’s a great atmosphere, I love playing here at Saints, and fortunately we just got the win.”
After a back and forth start St. Augustine (16-4, 2-3 Western) closed the opening quarter on a 12-1 run to take a six-point lead. Lincoln (11-7, 4-0) tied the game midway through the second quarter, but St. Augustine scored the last 11 points of the half and held a 32-21 advantage at halftime.
“We had to come out with energy, play hard, and play together,” said St. Augustine junior guard Brynton Lemar. “That was our whole focus.”
Lincoln quickly closed the gap in the second half, scoring the first seven points of the third quarter to pull within five points of St. Augustine. The Hornets closed the quarter on a 10-3 run – including consecutive three-pointers by Corey Whipple and Tyrell Robinson – and trailed St. Augustine 40-39 headed into the fourth quarter.
“We just played together as a team – we’re a family, we’re going to ride together, and that’s what we did,” Tyree Robinson said.
After St. Augustine sophomore guard Trey Kell hit a three-pointer to make it a 44-43 game with six minutes left in regulation, both teams played within one possession of each other for the rest of the fourth quarter. With 1:12 remaining Saints senior guard Drew Peterson hit a three to make it 52-49, and 49 seconds later Tyree Robinson answered with a corner three to tie the game and force overtime.
“In crunch time, my brother and I have to take a shot. We don’t have Norman Powell anymore – he used to take the shots in crunch time,” Tyree Robinson said. “But I’ve been putting in the work in the gym, and I knew I was ready to take that shot.”
In the first overtime period, both teams struggled offensively and the game stayed close. Lemar hit a jump shot with 17 seconds left to tie the game at 57 and on the ensuing possession Lincoln missed a pair of shots before the buzzer, sending the game into double overtime.
In the second extra period, Tyree Robinson opened the scoring with a three-pointer and Lincoln scored the first seven points to take control of the game. With 1:43 left Lemar made a three to make it 64-60, but St. Augustine couldn’t get any closer as Lincoln put the game away from the free throw line and went on to win by 11.
“In the second overtime, I just had to take the big shots,” Tyree Robinson said. “I felt I had too much room. I can shoot the ball very deep and he left me open too much, and I just pulled up right in his face.”
Tyree Robinson scored a game-high 34 points to lead Lincoln, including 30 in the second half and overtimes. Tyrell Robinson (13 points) and senior forward Jeremiah Turner (12) each finished in double figures as Lincoln extended its winning streak against San Diego teams to 43 consecutive games.
“We should be No. 1, and my teammates and coaches take that disrespectfully,” Tyree Robinson said. “Every day in practice we’re just going hard, and we plan on not losing in San Diego.”
Lemar led St. Augustine with 24 points and was one of three Saints players in double figures. The Saints are currently in the middle of the pack in Western League, and face an uphill battle in league play after starting the season 15-0.
“We’re still a good ball team, and I honestly think we’re still the best team in the Western League. We’re just going to keep playing,” Lemar said. “This is a learning moment and only going to make us better and motivate us to win every single league game the rest of the way.”
Lincoln – 74 (14-7-18-13-5-17)
Tyree Robinson 34, Tyrell Robinson 13, Turner 12, Martin 5, Spates 3 (starters) Whipple 7
St. Augustine – 63 (20-12-8-12-5-6)
Lemar 24, Kell 13, Moreno 12, Peterson 6, Madsen 3 (starters) Drapp 4, Degraw 1
Pictured: Lincoln guard Keone Spates shoots a three-pointer St. Augustine guard Brynton Lemar