Lincoln’s Raene Berry goes up for a shot as North’s Valora James defends during a game at Lincoln High Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.
Lincoln’s Raene Berry traded her sprinter’s spikes for basketball shoes Wednesday.
The sophomore guard ran the court with her teammates and the Railsplitters – or perhaps Runnin’ Rails – raced to a 55-10 win over North in a Class 5-A girls’ basketball regional quarterfinal at Lincoln.
Berry, who competes for the school’s track team, scored a game-high 10 points while helping to lead her team’s fast break. Ten of Lincoln’s players scored at least one point while fresh girls shuttled in and out of the game.
“I guess we work more on running than anything in practice,” Berry said. “The power to run.”
Class 5-A postseason play began Wednesday. Lincoln (6-16) advanced to play at Ankeny Centennial in a regional semifinal on Saturday.
Lincoln’s Charisma Currie scored nine points. Danielle Sheppard and Laurel Hoogensen both added eight.
Sheppard, a freshman, said she had to adjust to the fast pace when she joined the varsity.
“When I first started, I felt really weak, and they were more powerful,” Sheppard said.
The strategy worked well out of the blocks against North, which ended the season at 0-22.
Lincoln scored the game’s first 28 points before North’s Florence Tuyishime hit a basket. The Railsplitters outscored North 23-0 in the opening quarter.
“We’ve had trouble getting off to a good start all year,” Lincoln coach Scott Harrison said.
No problem Wednesday.
Six Lincoln players scored two or more points in the opening quarter. Sheppard had six.
“It gets us a lot of points,” Sheppard said. “The fast break always helps us.”
Berry said she loves the game.
“I like the fast pace a lot more,” Berry said. “As long as we keep hustling, it gets our fast break going.”
North coach Haywood Boston said his team succeed despite the winless record.
“This team had the best attitude of any team I’ve ever had,” Boston said. “These kids work hard, they listen.”
The Polar Bears had eight freshmen on the roster and did not have a senior. In addition, they’re learning the game.
“A lot of my kids are foreign, they’ve never touched a basketball,” Boston said.
Boston, who completed his second season at North, said the fundamental steps the players are taking remind him of his initial coaching days at Hoover – a program he’d eventually lead to the state tournament.
North plans a 60-game summer schedule, he said.
NORTH (10) – Yin 1, Tuyishime 2, S.Gatluak 5, N.Gatluak 2. Also played: S.James, Deng, Carr, V.James. Totals 4 1-8.
LINCOLN (55) – Toto 4, Miller 1, McKinney 3, Sheppard 8, Lei 2, Hoogensen 8, Berry 10, Currie 9, Knoebel 4, Valentine 6. Also played: Sharp, St. John. Totals 20 11-16.
North …0352 —10
Lincoln …2311813 —55
3-point goals—North 1 (S.Gatluak), Lincoln 4 (Hoogensen 2, Valentine 2). Fouls—North 15, Lincoln 14.