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Coca Cola Tourney Boys Semifinal: Lincoln edges DeSoto 51-50

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By Kelvin Justice

The Desoto Eagles obviously didn’t get the memo that Lincoln had already been penciled in to the finals.  Desoto had Lincoln on the ropes and appeared to have the game won with 1.4 seconds to play up by 1 point.  The Eagles were also on the line shooting two free throws. The first was good while the second rimmed out which was followed by an immediate Lincoln timeout.

Lincoln coach Leonard Bishop went away from conventional wisdom and set a play up for backup guard Kyron Crainer, who received a pass in the backcourt around the 3 point line took a few dribbles and lofted a perfect high arching three point shot that hit the bottom of the net to give the Tigers the victory 51-50. The winning shot will be what Crainer is most remembered for but his presence in the lineup was a catalyst for the Lincoln offense form the second quarter until his final heroics.

This game matched the #2 teams in both 4A and 5A according to the TABC was played at a high level with neither team able to break away. Desoto jumped out to an early lead, behind the inside play of Antwon Space, who led them in scoring with 20 points.  Lincoln, started the second quarter with an 8-1 run to take their first lead of the game.  Desoto followed with a 5 point run to regain the lead. From that point the game was a battle, with neither team gaining more than a five point lead the rest of the way.

The Eagles had opportunities to put the game away late while nursing a 4 point lead in the fourth quarter but several missed free throws kept them from extending their lead.  This allowed Lincoln to chip away at the lead with the big shot being a 3 pointer by Keaton Miles with 1.4 seconds remaining that cut the lead to one and set up the Crainer’s heroics. On the evening, LaBryan Nash led Lincoln in scoring with 17 points, 15 from Miles and 11 from Crainer. In addition, to Space Desoto also placed Matt Jones in double figures with 17.

Kimball will face Lincoln in the finals at Ellis Davis Field House at 7:30 p.m.  In the 3rd Place game, DeSoto will face Richardson Berkner at 4:30 p.m.

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