By John Goralski
A win over No. 5 Roxbury was a long shot, but Coach John Wasielewski still sees the loss as disappointing. Lincoln College has embraced their Cinderella role, and they’ve upset top teams over each of the last few seasons.
He isn’t troubled by the fact that Mass Bay Community College is ranked just outside the top 10 in NJCAA division three standings. Wasielewski expects three wins in the upcoming week.
If his team can do it, they will be all but assured of a postseason berth.
“We can still do it with two wins, but it will depend upon other teams losing,” said the coach. “We still control our own destiny.”
Can Lincoln College post back-to-back tournament berths? Fans will find out this week with games against UConn-Avery Point, Mass Bay, and Holyoke CC.
No. 5 Roxbury
“Our offense was good enough to win,” Wasielewski said about a 116-101 loss to Roxbury on Feb. 5. “It’s our defense that continues to be the problem. One of their players scored 54 points.”
Still, Lincoln came close. The locals battled to just a 12-point lead at the break and essentially matched them in the second half. With four three-pointers Tylon Holmes led the way with 28 points, six rebounds, and four steals. Mat Correa added 23 points with six assists and three steals.
Sean Douglas scored 22 points with nine rebounds. Kevin Smith and Howell McFarlane scored 10 points apiece. Every starter finished in doubled digits, but Roxbury never trailed.
“We scored over 100 points, and that should be enough,” said Wasielewski. “But we couldn’t stop them.”
Orange County CC
On Thursday, the Wildcats traveled to New York for an out-of-conference matchup with Orange County. For the first time this season, the Wildcats surrendered 100 points on consecutive games.
Smith led the way with 16 points. Douglas had 14 points with seven rebounds. Correa and McFarlane scored 11 points apiece, but the Wildcats fell to 7-14 with a 107-77 loss.
“We were tied with about 10 minutes remaining in the second half,” said Wasielewski. “We were down by 10 with four minutes to go, but we weren’t able to close the gap.”
The loss, however, does not affect the team’s postseason hopes, but Wasielewski said that there’s little room for error.
“We lost to UConn by only five points last time, and I still think it’s a game we should have won. We beat Holyoke by almost 30,” said the coach. “We played Mass Bay close last time. If we can win all three, I think we’re in. If not, we’ll need some help.”
Are the Wildcats up to the challenge? Wasielewski thinks they are.