Jackson doesn’t lose often — not once last regular season, and not yet this season before Monday’s matchup with Lincoln, the No. 4 team in 3A. But the Timberwolves haven’t encountered many backcourts like the Abes’.
Jackson, the No. 1 team in 4A, led by four going to the fourth quarter. Then freshman point guard Londrell Hamilton took over, scoring nine points in the final period, including six in the final two minutes, to guide Lincoln (12-1) to a surprising 61-55 win over the Timberwolves (13-1) in the King Holiday Hoopfest at Bellevue College.
Sophomore Trevion Brown and Hamilton each scored 12.
“The first half, I was just getting my teammates involved,” Hamilton said. “Then when it comes down to it in the fourth quarter, I wanted to get the ball inside, and they couldn’t stop it.”
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Defeat was expectedly sour for Jackson, which played the final 100 seconds without point guard Dan Kingma after the senior fouled out.
“We haven’t lost a regular-season game in a long time,” Jackson coach Steve Johnson said. “Weird feeling. Not a good feeling.”
Lincoln blitzed the Timberwolves during the first quarter, jumping out to a quick double-digit lead and substituting at nearly every dead ball to keep its high-pressure defense fresh.
Kingma was flustered by that defense early, but settled down during the second quarter to lead his team on a 17-7 run into the halftime break. Jason Todd, the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, had 15 points and eight rebounds in the first half. He finished with 22 points. Kingma scored 15.
The Timberwolves pulled ahead by as many as 10 during the second half, but with three minutes left in the game it was all knotted at 52.
Hamilton broke the tie, then Jackson’s Brian Zehr — who scored all 12 of his points in the second half — hit a three-pointer to regain the lead for his team. But Hamilton promptly responded, making it 56-55.
Jackson didn’t score again. And as the Timberwolves filed silently to their locker room after the game, the Abes took pictures on the floor.