Lincoln was taken by surprise at the Big Apple Basketball High School Invitational by a team that few have heard of prior to Saturday night, but more than likely will keep talking about for weeks.
Jamesville-Dewitt, a big name around Syracuse, itself had a reputation to uphold and did not let the formidable Lincoln team take them out of their game. Jamesville-Dewitt came in to the contest undefeated and left 14-0, as it upset Lincoln 75-63.
In the second half, both teams traded pound for pound, bucket for bucket even until the final minutes of the game. Lincoln could not keep up with Jamesville-Dewitt's offensive consistency and ultimately saw its opportunity of getting stops on the defensive end impossible. Dewitt also forced turnovers so that Lincoln could not even get into a steady offensive flow.
Lincoln had only one more turnover than Jamesville-Dewitt, but Dewitt's pressure defense prevented Lincoln from capitalizing on its errors. Slowly, the Lincoln powerhouse faded into the backdrop and Dewitt controlled the momentum.
After being down by seven points, 29-22, at the 2:23 mark of the second quarter, Jamesville-Dewitt came back into action after Lincoln senior guard Anthony Allen fouled senior forward Steve Thomson with 2:06 left to the half. But, Thomson only knocked down one at the charity stripe. Then teammate Hymes hit a trey in transition after an empty possession by Lincoln. Triche also went on an offensive surge performing a finger-rolled underhanded floater to the basket, bringing his team within one, 29-28.
The game was still within reach for Lincoln at the half, which closed 35-33.
Senior guard Alshawn Hymes, who finished with a game high 28 points and six rebounds, took over the offensive flow for Jamesville-Dewitt. He controlled the tempo of the game with energy and aggressiveness on both sides of the floor.
"I think all the credit go to #11 [Alshawn Hymes]," senior guard Brandon Triche said. "Every play we needed, Alshawn made it."
Even Lance Stephenson's 15 point-eight rebound effort and three teammates' double digits could not help the team's inability to contain Jamesville-Dewitt's offensive game or break its defensive hold, which prevented a comeback.
"We definitely knew this was going to be a big game, but every game we want to come out and play with intensity," said Hymes. "We didn't want to take anybody lightly, it's just another big game for us and we got it done."
Triche had 20 points and six rebounds and freshman big man Dajaun Coleman ignited the paint, finishing with 12 points and 10 boards.