The Lincoln Hornet boys’ basketball team would be overmatched in their season opener last Tuesday against an experienced Brookwood team at home, losing the game 66-39.
Brookwood took control of the game early and never let the Hornets back into the game.
“We played well for about the first seven minutes and then we let our offensive shortcomings have an impact on our defense and they were able to get some easy baskets to extend their lead in the first half,” said head coach Matt Dale.
The second half was better with the Falcons outscoring the Hornets 25-18.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well at all and need to make a few more shots if we want to compete with a team like Brookwood. Their size and length was a nuisance all night and wouldn’t let us get comfortable offensively,” Dale said.
Ethan Breheim and Justin Rowekamp would lead the Hornets in scoring with 10 points followed by Nathan Lucas with eight.
Breheim would shoot 50 percent from the floor, while Rowekamp would sink 2-of-6 3-pointers.
The Hornets would have 27 rebounds led by nine from Breheim. Rowekamp and Mitchell Olson would lead the Hornets in assists with four apiece, while Rowekamp would have three steals.
The Hornets would next suit up against Augusta in both team’s conference opener, coming away with a tough-fought 47-40 loss.
The game seesawed back and forth for most of the game, but Augusta would end the game on an 8-0 run over the final four minutes to take home the victory.
“Our defensive effort was much better tonight as we were able to help and contest shots and rebound those misses,” Dale said.
The Hornets would come away with 23 defensive rebounds against the Beavers, including seven from Breheim and Olson. The hornets would also be turnover machines, getting 25 turnovers lead by Macaid Stanley and Austin Calkins with five apiece.
While defensively the Hornets played well, their offense was lacking.
“We just haven’t done much offensively yet. Neither of our games this week were we able to shoot above 30 percent overall and that just won’t get it done on most nights,” Dale said.
The Hornets would end the night shooting 29.5 percent, led by Breheim with 14 points and Olson with 11. Lowering that percentage was the Hornets 3-point shooting, which was 4-of-16 from beyond the arc.
“I’m proud of the way the kids battled and we had several chances to score and take the lead in the final three minutes, but just didn’t finish. Give Augusta credit. They just made a couple more plays and a couple more shots than we did,” Dale said. “We are a very young and inexperienced team at the varsity level and games like this can help you learn a great deal about the team and how kids handle tight situations.”
Even with the two losses on the week, Dale is looking forward. “It is now just a matter of us taking care of the basketball and improving shot selection to increase our offensive efficiency. Ethan Breheim has had a good start to the season for us, and we will need his leadership as we progress through the season.”