Lincoln boys capitalize on poor shooting from Willow Run in 50-37 win
First-year head coach Rich Marion couldn’t ask for a better start to the season for the Ypsilanti Lincoln Railsplitters, as his team won their second consecutive road game to open the season, knocking off Willow Run 50-37 Friday night.
“It feels great, the kids have really bought into what we’re doing,” Marion said. “It’s been a joy to coach them and I think it’s paying dividends.”
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Led by Sherrod Motley-Dismuke’s 16 points, the Splitters took a 19-5 lead after one quarter and never looked back.
In the first 26 minutes of the game, Willow Run managed to make a mere eight field goals. The Flyers scored 17 points in the final quarter after managing just 20 through three.
“That’s experience, we don’t have a lot of game experience,” said Willow Run head coach Tim Cain. “We have two guys with varsity minutes, so everyone else is learning about the varsity speed.”
Lincoln was able to put pressure on the Flyers using a full-court press. The Flyers were able to avoid turnovers, but couldn't make shots once they broke the press.
“When we stopped worrying about their pressure and ran around it, we scored 17 points,” Cain said. “When they get comfortable, and it’s not going to happen overnight, we’re going to be a better team.”
The Flyers suffered through three different stretches where they went more than four minutes without a point, including a near eight-minute stretch between the first and second quarters.
DaQuanta Brown led the Flyers with eight points.
Marion was happy with his team’s effort on defense, in large part because they want to establish themselves as a pressure team on defense.
“It’s been a little bit of a process, but I think we’re getting better at it,” Marion said. “We got three or four different calls and the kids are starting to pick it up. We’re not there yet, we’re still missing some rotations, but they’re starting to pick it up.”
While Lincoln was comfortably ahead for the majority of the game, Marion said there are some things his team can clean up going forward, especially against zone defenses.
“We’re not yet the offensive team that we’re gonna be and we can make shots from the perimeter, but I wouldn’t call us a great perimeter shooting team,” Marion said. ”Chemistry against the zone is vital. Ball-movement and knowing where the other guy is going to be, because there’s no science to breaking the zone.”
Marion said his team is still learning to play together as a unit, but that getting two early wins is a major plus for his team moving forward.
“I’m glad that their effort and competitiveness is paying dividends with wins for them this early.”
Matt Durr covers sports for AnnArbor.com