OSBA Game of the Week Action, November 21, 2017
Defending home court, a focused King’s Christian Collegiate team showed early on why they were undefeated as they capitalized on each of Lincoln Prep’s early turnovers. The Huskies answered with a 6-0 run of their own when King’s decided to go into a defensive 2-3 zone. In an entertaining first quarter, King’s picked up the defensive pressure and opened a 12-point lead behind 6’3 C Christina Morra’s (class of 2018) dominance in the low-post as she scored eight of her team’s 23 first-quarter points.
The scoring picked up early in the second quarter as both teams answered each other’s early runs with a pair of and-ones by 6’2 F/G Mide Oriyomi (class of 2019) for King’s, and by 6’3 F/G Brynn Masikewich (class of 2019) for Lincoln. A 7-0 run by the Huskies sparked a strong second quarter performance, storming back to make it a two-point contest with seven minutes to go in the first half. 6’2 F/G Niyah Becker (class of 2018) was excellent on both ends of the floor early for Lincoln Prep as she played tough defense, created a pair of steals late in the first half that led to transition baskets and cut King’s lead from 14 to just five points. The Huskies continued to capitalize off defensive pressure thanks to 5’3 G Kali Pocrnic’s (class of 2019) and 5’8 G Keturah Balabyekkubo’s (class of 2019) gritty play. Lincoln Prep moved the ball well in the half-court for open layups and jump shots which gave them a brief two-point lead with under a minute in the first half. But it was the undefeated King’s Christian who answered the Huskies second quarter dominance with a late 5-0 run to regain the lead at the half 43-39.
The third quarter belonged to Lincoln Prep as they hurt King’s Christian in transition as a result of their dominance on the defensive end of the floor. Pocrnic was a lot for King’s to handle all evening as she provided solid on-ball defense, penetrated leading to open shots for her teammates, and made open jump shots. The Huskies outscored King’s by three points in third quarter and entered the fourth with a one point lead and a shot to upset the undefeated, first place King’s Christian Collegiate setting up a spectacular finish.
"It feels great to play here," said Pocrnic. "My whole family is out here to watch me and it makes me want to play harder for them. It's a really great experience. What's next is looking forward to the next game and we just take it game by game."
King’s went back to what was working for them early in the game, feeding Morra in the post where she was extremely hard to guard. The Wake Forest commit put the team on her back early in the fourth quarter, scoring the first eight of her team’s fourth quarter points, allowing them to recapture the lead, but it was the Huskies ability to play scrappy defense and rebound for second chance points that kept it close. Becker and Masikewich took over the fourth quarter for the Huskies and #6 Ketura Balabyekkubo’s clutch plays on both ends of the floor helped the Huskies rally to even the contest 72-72, but Morra’s late and-one play with 44 seconds left looked like the game winner for King’s. Yet again, it was the Huskies ability to rebound the ball on the offensive glass for second and third chances that allowed them to seal the game with a dagger three-point shot by 5’10 G Lauren Rainford (class of 2019) which put Lincoln in front of King’s with 13 seconds left in the game and turned out to be the winner lifting Lincoln to the upset over the first place and undefeated King’s Christian Collegiate on the road in a wire-to-wire game.
#5 Brynn Masikewich (6’3 F/G, 2019) - 15 points
#12 Niyah Becker ( 6’2 F/G, 2018) - 14 points
#14 Kaillie Hall (5’9 G, 2019) - 12 points
King’s Christian Collegiate:
#23 Christina Morra (6’3 C, 2018) - 27 points
#12 Mide Oriyomi (6’2 F/G, 2019) - 20 points