Lincolnview’s Kyle Williams (11) and Corbin Linder (30) of Wayne Trace went shot-for-shot as the Raiders out-lasted the Lancers 73-72 on Thursday night. Williams had 22 points to pace the Lancers, while Linder poured in 28 points in the win. (Times Bulletin/John Parent)
By Kevin Wannemacher
Times Bulletin Business Manager
HAVILAND — Lincolnview’s Kyle Williams reached the 1,000 point mark in his Lancer career Thursday night at the ‘Palace,’ connecting on a 3-pointer with 1:42 remaining in the contest to give the blue-and-gold a 67-63 advantage at the time over host Wayne Trace.
However, from that point forward, the Raiders answered with ten straight points and held on at the end for a 73-72 win over Lincolnview and close out three seniors’ careers with a victory in their final home game.
Senior Colby Speice ignited the run with a basket, but it was sophomore Luke Miller who came up with the play of the game.
Wayne Trace’s postseason tourney hopes may have taken a huge blow in the victory, though. The Raiders’ Corbin Linder, who led all scorers with 28 points in the contest, went down after being fouled going to the basket and was taken off the court after suffering a bad ankle sprain. It was undetermined at press time as to the extent of the injury and the length of time the Raider junior will miss.
“First, it is very unfortunate to have an injury like that,” noted Lancer head coach Brett Hammons. “You never want to see a kid get hurt and I wish Corbin the best. But we told the guys that we had to find a way to finish the game out. You have to give Wayne Trace a lot of credit in that situation, and we didn’t help ourselves either by not taking care of the ball.”
Enter the sophomore Miller, who came off the bench to hit Linder’s two free throws and tie the contest at 67-67 with 1:04 remaining.
On the ensuing Lincolnview possession, Miller picked off a Lancer pass and drove for a layup that put the Raiders on top 69-67 with 49 seconds left.
Another Lancer turnover sent Speice to the free throw line, where the guard hit one of two foul shots, to push the margin to 70-67 at the 31 second mark.
In the third straight Lincolnview possession, a turnover would send Ethan Linder to the line for the Raiders, who also made one of two shots to extend the advantage to 71-67 with 21.9 ticks left.
Two Devin Wenzlick foul shots pushed the margin to 73-67 before Lincolnview would rally to make things interesting.
The Lancers got a trey by Eli Farmer to pull within 73-70 and Hammons called timeout with 8.7 seconds left.
Following a pair of missed Raider free throws, Lincolnview would get one more opportunity.
With three seconds on the clock, Lincolnview got a final 3-point attempt by Chandler Adams that was off the mark and time expired as Justis Dowdy scored on a put-back to set the final margin of 73-72.
“I am proud of the effort by my guys,” commented Hammons. “I thought that we played very hard and we had an opportunity to win the basketball game. I think we got better tonight even though we didn’t win, and we have to keep getting better.”
Williams finished the night with 22 points for the Lancers while adding two rebounds, six assists and three steals. Hammons was very pleased that his senior guard was able to reach the century mark.
“It is quite an accomplishment for Kyle,” Hammons continued. “He has meant a lot to this program. When he was a freshman, we weren’t able to get a lot of wins but he continued to work hard and he stayed positive. He has been a tremendous leader for us and he does what is best for the team. He is one of those kids that just does whatever it takes and really puts the time in.”
The Raiders and Lancers were tied at 12-12 after one quarter but Wayne Trace tried to take control early in the second quarter.
Two Corbin Linder treys sandwiched around a David Sinn basket gave the Raiders a 20-12 advantage.
Lincolnview, though, answered with a 15-4 run that put the Lancers in front 27-24. Farmer and Williams each hit 3-pointers in the spurt, with Dowdy adding a three-point play and Adams picking up a basket.
The Lancers went on to post a 34-30 advantage at the intermission.
“We did a lot of good things tonight and I thought the guys really competed,” Hammons noted. “But we also saw some areas that we have to do a better job at. This was a good road test for us against a good basketball team and we need to learn from it.”
Wayne Trace used 14 third-quarter points by Corbin Linder to rally for a 54-50 lead entering the final stanza. The Raiders put together a seven-point run that changed a 44-43 Lancer advantage into a 50-44 Wayne Trace lead before eventually settling on the four-point margin after three quarters.
An Ethan Linder three-point play made it 57-52 and the Raiders still led 61-56 after a bucket by the Raider frosh.
Dowdy responded with a coast-to-coast layup and Adams posted an old-fashioned three-point play though to knot the game at 61-61 at the 2:59 mark of the fourth quarter.
After a Colby Speice bucket put the Raiders on top 63-61, a Dowdy three-point play and Williams’ milestone trey gave Lincolnview the 67-63 advantage.
“We’ve got a tough Northwest Conference game tomorrow night with Spencerville, and then we turn around and play Ottoville in the sectional tournament next week,” concluded the Lancer mentor. “We’ve got another opportunity to play a good basketball team tomorrow, and we have to take advantage of that and make ourselves a better basketball team.”
Dowdy added 21 points for the Lancers, who drop to 10-11 on the season. Farmer chipped in a dozen for Lincolnview. Conner McCleery led the team with six rebounds, while Austin Leeth posted four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Ethan Linder chipped in 12 points for Wayne Trace to go along with three rebounds, two assists and three steals. Miller, Jake Arend, Wenzlick and Sinn each scored six points. Miller also dished out three assists and picked up three steals with Speice, Arend and Corbin Linder having two assists a piece. Tim Blackmore played in his final game at home and posted two points and five rebounds. Wenzlick had four rebounds and Speice chipped in two boards and two steals as they also closed out their home careers.
Wayne Trace’s junior varsity moved to 16-4 on the season with a 41-31 win over the Lancers.
Nick Glass scored 11 points for the Raiders while Cole Shepherd chipped in nine. Hunter Blankemeyer and Trevor Neate each scored seven for Lincolnview, which falls to 17-4.
The Lancers host Spencerville in the Northwest Conference finale on Friday while Wayne Trace closes its regular season by visiting Ottoville.
Score by quarters
Lincolnview 12 22 16 22- 72
Wayne Trace 12 18 24 19- 73
Leeth 4, Williams 22, Dowdy 21, Adams 8, McCleery 5, Farmer 12, Ludwig 0
Wayne Trace (73)
Miller 6, E. Linder 12, Speice 7, Arend 6, C. Linder 28, Wenzlick 6, Sinn 6, Blackmore 2