In the boys’ Game of the Week, Vaughan S.S travelled to Lincoln Prep to play their final two road games of the season. They went into the game in the bottom end of OSBA standings but hoped to prepare for future seasons ahead. Lincoln Prep, on the other hand, found themselves squarely in the middle of the standings and winning the last games of their season could bring them to a .500 record on the year.
Lots of shots went up in the first quarter of action as both sides looked to score the ball within the first 7-10 seconds of each shot clock. Due to the high rate of fire, rebounding proved to be crucial to generating quick transition scoring opportunities. It was a closely contested match and neither team established control of the game. Lincoln prep were first to take a 4-point lead but Vaughan responded with a big 9-0 run to take a hard fought 17-10 lead. Lincoln eventually put an end to the run with some outside shooting but Vaughan had found their offensive groove and eventually earned an even bigger 9-point advantage to end the first.
Although both teams looked evenly matched, Vaughan capitalized on a few more crucial possessions giving them the early 23-14 lead to start the 2nd quarter. While the Lincoln offense was able to produce points, it was important for their defense to match the level of intensity before it was too late. They were relatively successful in their efforts and managed to get within a single possession of the visitors. Naturally, Vaughan were forced to make strategic adjustments if they wanted to maintain momentum on their side. Defensively, Lincoln made changes to their coverage by going to a 2-3 zone, but Vaughan’s fluid ball movement was able to generate gaps that led to scoring. Vaughan also seized the majority of defensive rebounds and with every rebound they quickly pushed the ball towards the other end of the court.
The 2nd half saw Lincoln prep come out of the gates with newfound energy and explosive offense. They quickly went from being down 34-41 to taking a 47-44 lead. Lincoln found their shooting stroke and it spaced out the floor when they raced down the court after a defensive stop. Lincoln established their largest lead of 8-points before Vaughan were able to respond with stops and forced turnovers. With the momentum shifting back in Vaughan’s favour, they attacked the rim relentlessly to ensure the Lincoln lead was short lived. The teams were once again within 1-point of each other and battled it out down the stretch of the 3rd quarter. Every basket had a response as both sides only had a small margin of error to work with. In the end, it was a 3-point play from Tafari Simms that gave his Lincoln Prep squad a small 66-64 lead before the final frame.
Starting the 4th quarter with a lead for the first time, Lincoln maintained their momentum in the first few minutes of action. They forced Vaughan turnovers with regularity and were making shots from all over the court which led to a 9-point lead over Vaughan with just over 5 minutes remaining in the game. However, Vaughan were not to be counted out just yet as they retaliated with hot shooting of their own to get within 2-points; but ultimately it was as close as they got. Lincoln Prep practically could not miss and when they did they earned offensive rebounds to get another shot opportunity down-low. Their late run of offense was too much for Vaughan and they ended up with a 100-94 at the final buzzer.
With two consecutive victories and one step closer to a .500 record, Lincoln Prep are happy to be ending the season with a strong push. Their last regular season game will be against Thornlea S.S on March 28, tip-off at 7pm. Vaughan S.S. fought hard all game but eventually came up short. They’ll be back in action on March 28th to play another game against King’s Christian Collegiate who they beat a few weeks earlier. Tip-off is scheduled for 5pm.