It’s only so often that the schedule plays out as well as this. With both these teams seeing each other in the first match of the season, it’s only fitting that their closely contested game got a rematch in the final week with heavy playoff implications. Lincoln Prep came away with the 59-52 victory the first time around but are currently behind TRC academy by a single win heading into the matchup.
To start the game TRC Academy were the first to get on the scoreboard but while both teams played at a high intensity, no one managed to follow up with another score for a long period of time. Both Lincoln and TRC relied heavily on their outside shot but struggled finding the bottom of the basket. The scoring really got underway when Lincoln’s Hanna Hall took the lead on offense and generated scoring opportunities for her team. Although she was occasionally a step ahead of her own teammates, her ball handling and vision led to scores below the basket. Lincoln eventually took the lead and TRC found themselves behind until the end of the quarter.
Although they trailed 9-13 to begin the 2nd quarter, TRC dominated the offensive glass in the 1st and they would have to take advantage of those extra chances if they wanted to reclaim their lead. Their strength on the glass was matched by their effort on defense as they jumped in passing lanes and forced Lincoln turnovers. Unfortunately, without being able to score on the other side of the floor, TRC was unable to close the gap. Whenever they did manage to score, Lincoln was able to respond on offense even though they often needed the entire shot clock to get a good look. Taya Hanson stepped her game up for TRC in the final minutes to tie up the contest at 24 but, as it had been all game, Lincoln quickly answered with a run of 5-0 behind Kaillie Hall’s outside scoring.
Lincoln Prep struggled offensively in the 3rd quarter but their defense kept TRC at bay until they could get their scoring on a roll. They crashed the offensive glass and remained aggressive on their defensive assignments, which caused a lot of problems for the already struggling TRC offense. Eventually opening up a 9-point lead in the final minutes of the quarter, Lincoln looked to be seizing full control of the game and the momentum swung to their side before heading into the final frame.
With the 4th quarter under way, TRC remained competitive despite their earlier struggles. Makayla Ennis was a big factor in TRC comeback efforts and was sorely missed earlier in the game since she was limited due to foul trouble. Her aggression resulted in extra offensive opportunities for her team that they converted on their way back to a 1-point deficit. Charging back to a 43-44 in the first 3 minutes put them in good position with a lot of time left but Hanna Hall’s clutch shooting continued to keep her Lincoln squad afloat. Her efforts would only last for so long however as TRC tied the game at 47. From that point, both sides exchanged transition baskets in rapid-fire offensive attacks until TRC came out of the exchange with the 53-51 lead. Down the stretch, everything went TRC’s way, from the streaking teammate on the fast break to the open player on an inbounds play, they always had a viable option to score. Lincoln prep were visibly disjointed after every basket and they were unable to slow down the 9-0 run that eventually led TRC to their 60-51 victory.
Completing their season with a 10-4 record, TRC academy has locked themselves in for a top 3 spot going into the playoffs. The job is not yet done and they have high hopes for the weeks ahead. Lincoln prep still has a game remaining on their schedule (due to a postponed matchup) and although they’ll be upset to have lost this game, they’ll have a chance at redemption against Guelph Prep in their final match of the regular season.