Super sub? Lincoln junior D’shay Pressley definitely was that, for at least one night.
It’s been slow progress for Pressley, whose shot has been re-tooled from the beginning of the year.
That was until Friday night when Pressley came off the bench to score 13 of her career-high and game-high 16 points in the second quarter at rival Leon.
Pressley knocked down three 3-pointers in the quarter and scored eight points in Lincoln’s 12-0 run in the period, jolting the Trojans to a huge 54-43 district win over the Lions.
“I definitely was not expecting that, and we went with more of an offensive group to start,” first-year Lincoln coach Rod Mack said.
“She came off the bench, hit her first 3 and I said, ‘OK, good shot.’ She hit her second 3 and I said, ‘OK, get her the ball.’ Then she hit a couple more and I said, ‘Wow, I gotta keep getting her the ball.’ It was nice to see her start becoming consistent.”
After an even 10-10 first quarter, Lincoln (9-7, 3-0 District 2-7A) amassed a 22-8 lead in the second quarter as Leon (7-13, 2-2) turned the ball over eight times. Pressley kept knocking down shots each time down in hitting five field goals.
“We got away from our game plan, didn’t capitalize when we needed to, and they got some breakaway layups and points in the paint,” Lions coach Bruce Daniels said. “I didn’t except (Pressley) to do that. We’ll see if she can do it in the district tournament.”
Leon clawed back from the 32-18 halftime deficit by stringing together 6-0 and 8-0 runs in the third quarter. The lead was just two for the Trojans entering the fourth quarter, but in need of a spark, Pressley nailed her fourth trey of the night.
Slowly, the Lions fell apart and Lincoln didn’t. Both teams started three freshmen, but it was Trojans freshman center Veresia Yon with the most imposing presence.
Yon, at 6-feet tall, is coming off a strong season on the Trojans’ volleyball team, on which she played middle blocker.
“I feel like two sports gives you an advantage over other people,” said Yon, who came in averaging nearly a double-double each game. “It keeps you conditioned year round. And it opens you up to different personalities.”
Yon finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds, while fellow freshman Ariel Young turned in her 11 points in the second half. Though Yon found herself in foul trouble for much of the second half, she has her reasons via adaptation from one sport to the next.
“When I go to block a shot I have to not swing, which is what I do in volleyball,” Yon said. “I have to just hold my hands up or I foul a girl.”
Leon received an evenly distributed 16 points from freshman guard Jala Williams, while junior center Rebekah Green scored 11 with six rebounds. The two teams could meet up again in the district tournament in two weeks, but for now Lincoln loves its top seeding. It’s been four years since the Trojans were in the position.
“It feels good,” Mack said. “It’s good for the girls. I’m excited for them. Now we have to go win a district championship. This is a big accomplishment to be the top seed after the regular season, but we’re not done yet.”