Lincoln Takes Step Toward Playoffs

Posted: February 19, 1987

It has been more than two decades since Lincoln advanced into post-season play and captured the Public League championship. And that is something that is not lost on head coach Charlie Davis.

"It's been a long time," Davis said after Lincoln dropped Kensington, 97-70, Tuesday afternoon to boost its record to 11-8 overall, 6-5 league. "We have Southern (today) and then Engineering and Science (Tuesday), and hopefully, if we play good ball and execute properly, we'll make the playoffs."

Lincoln holds only a one-game lead over Washington, Engineering & Science and Northeast - all 5-6 in the league. The four are competing for the final three playoffs spots, so the Railsplitters desperately needed the victory Tuesday.

Kensington, however, had other thoughts. The Tigers (1-18 overall, 1-10) charged after the Railplitters from the opening tip.

Lincoln, with 6 points from Sean Hinson, posted a 18-14 lead after the opening quarter. Hinson's second basket, typically a layup off a rebound, pushed the senior's career total over 1,000 points. Hinson finished the contest with a triple-double, collecting 18 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

Lincoln edged in front of Kensington often, only to have the Tigers - led by Ken Pigford (10 points) - close the gap. Finally, the Railsplitters broke away, scoring the last 12 points of the half. They went into the locker room with a 47-34 lead.

"We didn't know what to expect from them, and maybe we were a little overconfident," Davis said. "We didn't rebound and didn't play good defense most of the first half. We got off to a slow start, but as the game progressed, we got better."

Hinson was one of the few Lincoln players who played well in the first half, posting 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in the first 16 minutes.

Lincoln opened the third quarter with a 12-6 run, but Kensington staggered back and closed to 56-48 with 3:05 left in the quarter. The Railsplitters opened up their fastbreak offense and put the game away with a 13-4 run.

Lincoln scored 6 straight points to open the fourth quarter, and garbage- time was on as the Railsplitters inched closer to a playoff berth.

"Making the playoffs really hasn't fazed the kids as much as having a winning season does," Davis said. "It would be a major accomplishment, something I would be very proud of.

"During the six years I've been here, I've lost kids to transfers, academics, and it just seems like I was always rebuilding.

"But this year, I think we have better chemistry on this team. So far, we've won the games we've had to win, and that's made the difference."

The Railsplitters will need a special effort today when they travel to Southern (19-1, 11-0), the top team in The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania basketball ratings.

"We're going to have to slow the ball down on them and take good shots to beat them," Davis said. "We can't be that aggressive on offense."

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