Rebels roll by RCW

IVANHOE – The Lincoln HI boys’ basketball team started hot in its first round Section 3A-North playoff against Renville County West on Thursday night and never looked back.

The Rebels jumped out to a 17-0 lead and held the Jaguars scoreless for over seven minutes on their way to a 64-34 win.

“We had a tough game up (in Renville). We struggled against them a little bit,” said Lincoln HI coach Brock Citterman of a regular season meeting with RCW. “We knew they were going to play their 1-3-1 (defense). They played it all game last time and it gave us problems. We put a couple simple things in and tonight we hit some shots.”

Jordan Beck, Nate Pavek, Jeff Gladis and Ryan Rybinski gave Lincoln HI (8-15) the lead before the Jaguars’ Ian Engstrom hit a 3-pointer with nine minutes, 40 seconds left in the half to make it 17-3.

“Our guards up top penetrated really nice,” Beck said. “We got the kick-outs. The pass fake did it and we got a lot of open shots off of that.”

Lincoln HI answered back by going on a 10-4 run to end the half, started by a Trysten Studemann three-pointer and finished with a pair of free throws from Pavek to give the Rebels a 27-7 lead at the half.

“We had to keep going strong,” Pavek said. “As soon as you let up it lets them right back in the game. You have to take it to a new level.”

“It’s a game of halves. Anyone can go on a run,” Citterman added. “We knew the game was far from over. You just have to keep the kids focused.”

Beck, who had 27 points to lead all scorers, started the second half with a 3-pointer, but the Jaguars drained three 3-pointers in a row to cut the lead back down to 14 with less than three minutes gone and Citterman quickly called a timeout.

“It’s a simple thing. We were just over-rotating on the defensive end,” Citterman said. “We just reminded them what the game plan was and we solved that problem pretty quick.”

Pavek ended the RCW run, making it 32-16 before slowly building on their lead.

Threes from Studemann and Beck, plus a three-point play from Pavek put the Rebels back up by 20, 47-27, and Lincoln HI added another six points before the Jaguars could respond, going up 53-29 with 6:58 left in the game.

“Defense leads to offense,” Beck said. “If you’re playing good defense, that’s where it all starts. You get rebounds, come back and have a lot of fun on offense.”

The Rebels continued to build and went up by as many as 32 late in the game when Nathaniel Citterman hit a jumper to make it 64-32.

RCW added two with under 10 seconds left, but Lincoln HI had wrapped up the 64-34 win.

The Rebels will move on to face Dawson-Boyd, the top seed in the North sub-section, on Saturday in Montevideo.

“Last time we played Dawson-Boyd we got in a hole early,” Citterman said. “But we missed five or six wide-open shots.

“It’s another challenge for these kids. We have to play one of our best games and we know it.”