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Hornets finish on top of Western League for third season in a row

LINCOLN PARK – For the third straight season, the Western League belongs to Lincoln. The second-ranked Hornets rolled to a 71-54 win over visiting Mission Bay on Thursday night to capture the crown outright.

“We play in one of the toughest leagues in San Diego, but we pulled it out and played together as a team,” said Lincoln junior guard Tyree Robinson. “We wanted it bad.”

Lincoln (18-8, 11-1 Western) led 34-28 lead after a tightly officiated first half. In the third quarter, the Hornets took control by scoring the first eight points, including a pair of three-pointers by Tyree Robinson – two of his seven in the game.

“My teammates know if they see me wide open, I’m going to knock down the open shot,” Tyree Robinson said.

Lincoln had a 16-point lead over Mission Bay (15-7, 8-4) headed into the fourth quarter, and used defense to stay in front. The Hornets started the quarter on a 10-2 run fueled by defensive stops that lead to easy fast break points.

“The key was for everybody to win their matchup – defend your guy and make sure he doesn’t have more points than you,” Tyree Robinson said. “We just moved our feet and worked harder than the other team.”

In the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, Lincoln’s lead ballooned to 27 points before Mission Bay made a late push. The Hornets closed out Western League play with seven straight victories to claim a third consecutive league championship.

“After that loss to Cathedral, we got motivated and decided we weren’t taking any more losses,” Tyree Robinson said. “The only loss I’ve taken in San Diego since I’ve been in high school was against Cathedral, and I refuse to lose any more games this year.”

Tyree Robinson led Lincoln with a game-high 29 points and junior guard Tyree Robinson added 18. The Hornets’ main scoring threat has been the biggest beneficiary of senior point guard Jerry Cobb’s late-season return.

“It’s a blessing to have Jerry back, he creates for others,” Tyree Robinson said. “He’ll find me – all I have to do is spot up and shoot the three ball, and we can do that all night.”

After its national preseason schedule yielded uneven results, Lincoln appears to be hitting its stride headed into the Division II playoffs. The Hornets are expected to be near the top of a loaded Division II bracket when it’s released on Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to it. Division II is a tough division with a lot of good schools this year,” Tyree Robinson said. “We have something to prove and we’re going to be coming hard. We have to prove to San Diego that we should have been No. 1 the whole time.”

Senior guard Jerald Albritton led Mission Bay with 15 points. The Buccaneers finished third in the Western League and will be one of the top seeds in the Division III playoffs.

Lincoln – 71 (19-15-20-17)

Tyree Robinson 29, Tyrell Robinson 18, Cobb 15, Turner 2, Spates 0 (starters) Martin 3, Springs 2, Whipple 2

Mission Bay – 54 (10-18-10-16)

Albritton 15, Cloud 11, Petties-Wilson 10, Mebratu 4, Holler 2 (starters) Kane 7, K. Hassan 3, Groebe 2

Pictured: Lincoln guard Tyrell Robinson shoots a jumper over Mission Bay guard Jared Kane

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