Of Coach Steve Kimbro's 822 wins at Nokomis, just over seven percent have come against one of their closest neighbors, the Lancers of Lincolnwood.
Going into Friday's game in Nokomis between the two county rivals, Kimbro's record against the Lancers was 61-8, with his Redskins having won each of the last four meetings by an average of 21 points.
Meeting number 70 between the Lancers and Redskins in Kimbro's regime won't be one the legendary coach remembers fondly though, as Lincolnwood scored a 50-44 victory on the Skins' home court.
The Lancers would hold a 14-7 advantage after the opening eight minutes, mounting a late charge as they outscored Nokomis 7-3 over the last four minutes thanks to four free throws by Sam Herman and a three from Cole Sidwell.
Nokomis' Carter Sabol also had a three in the quarter as he and Alex Tosetti accounted for all seven Nokomis points (five for Sabol and two for Tosetti).
Sabol would start the second quarter on the bench though, after picking up his second foul on a charge with 1:28 to play in the first quarter. Lincolnwood would go down low to Devin Brown for four quick points, before Sabol returned and sparked a 6-0 run for the Redskins that cut the Lincolnwood lead to 18-13.
Tosetti would get Nokomis even closer with a three-pointer, but Will Jenkins countered for the Lancers with a three of his own to boost the lead back to 21-16 with 1:47 to play in the half.
Sabol would score the only two points of the final 100 seconds as Nokomis trailed by just three, 21-18, at the break.
Neither team would get off to a fast start in the second half, but Nokomis would be the first to score as Sabol netted four points to make it 22-21 with 4:25 to play, giving the Redskins their first lead since the 6:18 mark of the first quarter.
Again, Jenkins was there with an answer, hitting his third three of the game as Lincolnwood regained the lead. The Lancers would outscore the Redskins 7-2 in the final three minutes of the quarter, going 3-for-3 from the free-throw line in the stretch to take a 29-26 advantage.
In the fourth, Jenkins would come up big again, hitting his fourth three to make it 32-26 in Lincolnwood's favor. A two from Alex Tosetti would cut the lead to four, but a basket by Sam Herman and an old fashioned three-point play from Shawn Goebel boosted the margin back up to nine.
Despite Lincolnwood's momentum building up, Nokomis refused to go away as they matched the Lancers basket for basket. Sabol hit another three and then a two with 2:30 left to play and the score was within five, with Lincolnwood leading 41-36.
If history was to repeat itself, this was the point when the Redskins would pull ahead, leaving Lincolnwood scratching their heads and wondering what might have been. But this time, the Lancers answered.
Evan Hopper hit a drive to the lane to make it 43-36, followed by a Nokomis turnover and two free throws by Shawn Goebel and one from Will Jenkins to make it a ten point game with 1:05 to play.
Nokomis would try to make a run in the final minute, getting a three from Sabol and a two from Evan Herpstreith, but Lincolnwood went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line to salt the game away.
Nokomis would get three free throws in the final ten seconds, but couldn't cut further into the Lancer lead as the visitors picked up a six-point win, their first in Nokomis since Jan. 10, 2014, and just their third in the last 37 years.
The Lancers would spread 50 points amongst seven different players, with Will Jenkins and Sam Herman leading the way with 13 apiece. Shawn Goebel would chip in nine, going 5-of-5 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, while Cole Sidwell had seven, with a perfect 4-for-4 performance from the charity stripe.
Devin Brown (four points), Jhadyn Walker (two points) and Evan Hopper (two points) finished out the scoring for Lincolnwood.
The Lancers had no answer for Sabol on defense as the 6'8" forward scored 29 points against defenders six to eight inches shorter than him. The Lincolnwood defense did well against the rest of line-up though, hounding the Nokomis guards and holding Alex Tosetti and Evan Herpstreith to seven and four points respectively. Kendall Knodle and Jake Johnson would have the other four points for Nokomis, each getting two from the free-throw line.
Lincolnwood's performance at the charity stripe was also a big factor as they went 17-of-20 from the free-throw line, compared to 6-14 for the Redskins.
The win improved Lincolnwood's record to 9-7 on the season, while Nokomis moved to 6-6. The good news for the Redskins is that they won't have to wait long for a shot at revenge as the two are scheduled to meet in the finale of the Morrisonville Mohawk Classic on Saturday, Jan. 18.
The bad news for the Lancers is that no Lincolnwood team has ever beaten Kimbro's Redskins twice in the same season, with the Lancers' only back-to-back wins over Nokomis coming a year apart on Jan. 9, 2004 and Jan. 7, 2005.
As an added bonus, the 71st meeting in the Kimbro era between the two clubs will likely be the last as the two teams are not only in separate regionals, but in separate super-sectional complexes, meaning the earliest they could meet would be the IHSA State Tournament.
January 10 at Nokomis
Lincolnwood 14 7 98 21 50
Nokomis 7 11 8 18 44
Lincolnwood (50) - Will Jenkins 13, Sam Herman 13, Shawn Goebel 9, Cole Sidwell 7, Devin Brown 4, Jhadyn Walker 2, Evan Hopper 2. Totals: 14 17-20 50.
Nokomis (44) - Carter Sabol 29, Alex Tosetti 7, Evan Herpstreith 4, Kendall Knodle 2, Jake Johnson 2. Totals: 17 6-14 44.
Three-point field goals: Lincolnwood 5 (Jenkins 4, Sidwell 1); Nokomis 4 (Sabol 3, Tosetti 1).
Records: Lincolnwood (9-7); Nokomis (6-6).