The night started as a celebration of the 1963 Manitowoc Lincoln State champion team, but ended with the 2012-13 edition of the Ships falling 72-68 against visiting Green Bay Notre Dame on Friday night.
Lincoln’s Kyle Hoffman did his best to keep pace with the sharpshooters of the Tritons, scoring a team-high 24 points, all coming from beyond the arc with eight 3’s. The two teams combined for 27 3-pointers — 14 for Notre Dame and 13 for Lincoln.
The early going was highlighted by both sides draining from distance, with the Ships trailing 9-8 after three straight Triton 3’s. Patrick Johnson made Lincoln’s third 3-pointer on the next possession, giving the Ships an 11-9 advantage.
The frenetic pace kept up the rest of the quarter with the 3’s continuing to rain in with the score even at 19-19 when the horn sounded. Both defenses were punished almost every time either team had an open look from deep, while the going in the paint was tough with fouls being committed by each side.
Lincoln had a good combination of inside-out offense going with Austin Mecca banging in the paint while Johnson and Hoffman combined for five 3-pointers midway through the second quarter. Mecca finished with 15 points while Johnson added 12 on four 3-pointers.
Notre Dame was nursing a tentative 31-28 advantage as the long ball continued to play a factor going forward. A buzzer-beating 3-pointer by the Tritons put Lincoln behind 39-33 at halftime after Nick Schroeder scored three the old fashioned way seconds earlier for the Ships.
Mecca and Hoffman combined for 20 of Lincoln’s first-half points, with Hoffman scoring all 12 of his points from beyond the arc. In total, the Ships and Tritons combined for 16 3’s in the first half.
The action got going just as fast in the second half as a quick 4-0 run by Lincoln forced Notre Dame to take a timeout while holding a three-point lead. The timeout was effective, with the Tritons nailing their tenth 3-pointer of the night coming out the 30-second break.
Lincoln trailed 50-40 before Hoffman made his fifth 3-pointer of the game, but the Ships were beginning to fall behind a hot-shooting Notre Dame squad. At the end of the third, Lincoln faced an uphill climb down 56-47.
Hoffman continued his one-man shooting display, accounting for seven three’s midway through the fourth quarter and helping the Ships get within four at 60-56 with the assistance of Jake Rohrer’s inside presence.
With 2:38 remaining in the game, Johnson made a 3-pointer of his own to bring the trim Lincoln’s deficit to 63-61. A turnaround jumper by Rohrer with 1:15 to play tied the score at 66.
Notre Dame iced the game from the free-throw line as Lincoln finally went cold after fighting all the way back.
Ben Bobinski 15, KC Borseth 17, Brendan Burke , Gus Dennis 7, Nick Martzahl 2, Cameron Snyder 6, Patrick Thompson 16, Mitch Vanden Meerendonk 9.
Matthew Fischer 3, Kyle Hoffman 24, Patrick Johnson 12, Austin Mecca 15, Jake Rohrer 9, Nick Schroeder 3, Preston Ullman 2.
3-Point Goals – Notre Dame 14 (Ben Bobinski 3, KC Borseth 3, Gus Dennis 1, Cameron Snyder 2, Patrick Thompson 4, Mitch Vanden Meerendonk 1), Lincoln 13 (Matthew Fischer 1, Kyle Hoffman 8, Patrick Johnson 4), Total Fouls – Notre Dame 12, Lincoln 14 (Matthew Fischer 5).