The Lincoln Cardinals (10-5, 6-1) dropped their first PIL game 54-35 to the Grant Generals (12-3, 8-0) Friday night.
The Cardinals led 20-15 at halftime, but Grant’s full-court pressure became too much for the Cardinals to handle. Lincoln’s top scorer, Nohea Waiwaiole, was in foul trouble all night.
KGW caught up with Lincoln head coach Glen Lee after the game to get his thoughts on what his team will take away from the loss.
You had to feel good about the way the game started for your team.
“Oh yeah. We were feeling really good. We were playing great defense. They’re a team that averages 64 points a ball game. They had 15 at halftime. That’s pretty good. We just can’t have as many unforced turnovers as we did. A lot of those things were on us. Once they got some momentum going, it kind of snowballed from there. They did a nice job. Mike’s got a great team. We get them again at our place and hopefully it will be different.”
What were you telling your team to try and prevent the turnovers from continuing?
“Relax. It’s a crazy Friday night game. A lot of kids were playing in front of this big of a crowd for first time. It’s great excitement. That’s great for high school. That’s what we want from the back-to-back games. It was a fun Friday night basketball game. We played really well for 16 minutes.”
Nohea was in foul trouble all night. How do you feel that affected the game?
“Some other kids got to step up. Next person up. In the third quarter there was a lot of players on the floor that don’t play a lot, on both sides. I had to look at their roster a couple times because I didn’t recognize some of the players.”
How tough was it to find a rhythm in the first half? The game seemed to stop every 15 seconds for one reason or another.
“That was good for us. That was our style. We’re kind of a plodding-type team. We like to run too, but it was tough to stop-start, stop-start.”
What do you think your team will take away from the game? How will it prepare them for a possible playoff game down the road?
“This game, the Sheldon game, the La Salle game; those are all games that will help us down the line with potential playoff situations. It’s going to give us that experience on how to handle a crowd and an in-your-face defense. We’re going to watch the tape and we’re going to learn. We’re a much of visual learners. We’ll be alright.”
Lincoln will look to respond strongly when go on the road to face Benson Jan. 30.
Check out photos from the game.