WASHINGTON — Washington was the more aggressive team in the first half against Lincoln on Monday, and by the time the Alices matched the intensity, their deficit was too big to overcome.
An 11-0 burst spanning the middle two periods gave the Class 3A No. 6 Hatchets control, and they led by double figures the entire second half in taking out Lincoln, 61-42, in a girls basketball game at the Hatchet House.
Chloe Cardinal had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead Lincoln (5-5), while Dani Kroeger scored 10 and Maycee Lange nine. Washington (10-1) only had four score, but they were all in double figures. Alaina Thorne tallied 19, Jesse Ledgerwood 18, Jade Browning 13 and Kencia Levasseur 11.
The Hatchets finished with a 29-16 rebounding advantage, grabbing nine on the offensive end. But what hurt Lincoln the most was the absence of senior starter Marissa Carmean, who had to quarantine due to close-contact tracing, and she'll miss the next two weeks.
“That curveball hurt us,” said Young, who noted the that the team didn't find out they'd be without Carmean until mid-afternoon Monday. “We had our rotations set, who was going to come in when, and when we could get people some rest. We just had to learn on the fly. All in all, I'm not too disappointed in how the young ladies played, except for the final margin.
“Early in the game, we gave up way too many offensive rebounds, but we got that ship corrected. We played well at the start of the game, but then we got a little timid with their physicality and their quick cutting. We stopped getting into the lane (offensively). We were still getting some good looks, but they just didn't go down.”
Lincoln had a 7-4 lead, but a 5-0 finish to the quarter put Washington in front for good, 9-7. Thorne scored the first six in the second to take the lead to 15-7. Lange ended a dry spell of over five minutes with a pair of free throws, and consecutive 3s by Gracie Kramer and Kroeger closed the Alices within 23-17 with 30 seconds left in the half.
But Ledgerwood answered with a 3, and after a Lincoln turnover, Levasseur put in an easy 2 just before the buzzer to take the lead to 28-17. Browning scored the first six of the second half as the lead ballooned to 34-17.
Lange scored six in an 8-2 Alices' push that got the gap down to 38-27, but Ledgerwood put in consecutive trifectas to silence the threat, and the lead was back to 46-31 by the end of three. The closest Lincoln got in the final stanza was 51-39 after Cardinal buried a 3-pointer with 5:07 showing. Tthe Hatchets responded with the next seven points.
Ledgerwood missed her first four 3-point attempts, but was true on her final five.
“They're a good team, and we can't let Ledgerwood get open like that,” Young said. “She hadn't been shooting it well, but she got hot over the weekend (at the Plainfield Tournament), and it seemed like she hit 10 today. Having someone who can hit those open 3s when you're trying to defend Thorne and Levasseur inside is tough.”
Young added that he was confident his team could close the gap if the two teams meet again in the sectional, which is at Alice Arena. History is on the side of Lincoln in that regard. The teams have met six times in the sectional since the 2002-03 season, with the regular-season loser claiming five of those rematches.
“I'm sure they're going to look at the tape and see some things they can exploit against us, but we saw some things too,” he said. “Even though I don't like losing, I'm not going away from this game planning on punting the sectional. Our hometown folks don't want to give up on us, because we're getting better.”
Lincoln's junior varsity was defeated, 41-21. Gracie Phillips, Macy Sexton and Johna Bottoms each had four points for the JV Alices (2-7).
The Alices host Princeton at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
WASHINGTON 61, LINCOLN 42
Lange (f) 2-9 4-5 9, Halter (f) 0-0 0-0 0, Cardinal (g) 7-11 0-0 17, Kramer (g) 1-3 0-0 3, Kroeger (g) 3-12 2-2 10, Fleetwood 1-5 1-1 3, Sexton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-40 7-8 42.
Thorne (f) 6-13 5-7 19, Levasseur (f) 4-8 3-4 11, J. Browning (f) 5-9 3-4 13, Ajradinoska (g) 0-2 0-0 4, Ledgerwood (g) 6-11 1-2 18, C. Browning 0-0 0-0 0, Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-43 12-17 61.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Lincoln |7-10-14-11 — 42
Washington |9-19-18-15 — 61
3-pointers: Lincoln 7-21 (Cardinal 3-4, Kroeger 2-7, Kramer 1-2, Lange 1-4, Fleetwood 0-4), Washington 7-14 (Ledgerwood 5-9, Thorne 2-3, Levasseur 0-1, Ajradinoska 0-1). Rebounds: Lincoln 16 (Cardinal 7), Washington 29 (Thorne 9). Turnovers: Lincoln 9, Washington 6. Fouls: Lincoln 14, Washington 8.