In a way, Lincolnwood’s 50-27 loss to Sandoval on Monday, Feb. 10, was a glimpse of the Lady Lancers season as a whole.
After 34 years without a program of their own, Lincolnwood brought back girls basketball this season and while victories didn’t come their way, growth did as the Lady Lancers got better as the season progressed.
That was the case on Monday as well, as Lincolnwood rebounded from a 13-2 first quarter to outscore the Blackhawks in the second quarter and net their second highest point total of the season.
After the tough start, where their only points came from an Avery Pope duece, the Lady Lancers found their range from behind the three-point arc, with Sydney Herman and Haelee Damm each hitting threes.
Damm would also have a two in the quarter, joining Cora Stevens and Cassie Krager in netting field goals as they outscored the Blackhawks 12-11 in the frame.
Down 24-14 at the break, the Lancers hoped to cut further into the lead, getting two more threes from Damm, but Nevaeh Andrews boosted Sandoval to a 15-6 third quarter run, scoring nine of her team’s 15 points.
Lincolnwood got another three from Herman and two points each from Cassie Krager and Cora Stevens, but Sandoval closed out the game with 11 points to advance to the regional semifinals against Christ Our Rock Lutheran on Thursday, Feb. 13.
Damm would lead the Lancers with 11 points off the bench, becoming the first girls player in a Lincolnwood uniform to reach double figures in a game since March 11, 1985, the Lancers’ last game before the program was cut a few months later.
“You know it’s hard to put into words what these girls accomplished this season, from having never played to playing varsity basketball,” Coach Justin Millburg said of his team. “I’m proud of how hard they have worked.”
Nearly half of the teams on Lincolnwood’s schedule, ten of 21, finished the regular season with 18 wins or more, with only eight posting losing records on the season.
“It takes a lot to play the kind of schedule we played and show up with that effort and heart that they played with night in and night out,” Coach Millburg said. “They have a toughness that most would hope to have.”
With just one senior, a year of experience and an entire offseason to prepare, hopes are high that the toughness they’ve shown this season turns into success in year two.
Feb. 10 at Nokomis
Class 1A Nokomis Regional
Lincolnwood 2 12 6 7 27
Sandoval 13 11 15 11 50
Lincolnwood (27) - Haelee Damm 11, Sydney Herman 6, Cassie Krager 4, Cora Stevens 4, Avery Pope 2. Totals: 11 0-4 27.
Sandoval (50) - Nevaeh Andrews 14, Makayla Dailey 8, Courtney Evans 6, Rheagan Rollinson 6, Isabelle Moore 6, Natalie Knox 4, Jazmene Simpson 2, Jasmin Tarlton 2, Breanna Dailey 2. Totals: 20 8-13 50.
Three-point field goals: Lincolnwood 5 (Damm 3, Herman 2); Sandoval 2 (Moore 1, Andrews 1).
Record: Lincolnwood (0-21).
Class 1A Girls Basketball at Nokomis Regional
Monday, February 10
Game 1: #7 Sandoval 50, #11 Lincolnwood 27
Thursday, February 13
Game 2 at 6 p.m. - #2 Christ Our Rock Lutheran vs. #7 Sandoval
Game 3 at 7:30 p.m. - #3 Hardin Calhoun vs. #5 Nokomis
Friday, February 14
Game 4 at 7 p.m. - Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3