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- Written by Allan Classen
- Published on December 7, 2011
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Tualatin put on a clinic in the first half at Lincoln Dec. 6, building a 28-16 lead with a patient, back-cutting offense and stifling, man-to-man defense. Things got unruly in the fourth quarter, when Lincoln applied a full-court press and let 6-6 J.T. Flowers take it to the hoop every time, but the Timberwolves retained just enough composure to hang on for a 49-46 win.
Lincoln has two explosive scorers in Flowers, a fourth-year starter, and Alex Sattley, who transferred from Franklin, where he averaged 20 points per game last year. Both were thwarted repeatedly on one-on-one moves in the first half. At intermission, Flowers had two points and Sattley 3.
Both broke out in the second half, but by then it was too little, too late.
Tualatin was rattled by the Lincoln press, but not broken. Senior point guard Nathan Suyematsu carried the ball-handling load for the Timberwolves, battling double-teams in backcourt and running the half-court offense. Without him, it’s clear the result would have been different. He has great court sense and poise, plus quickness and a nifty outside shot.
Lincoln is rebuilding under new coach Sean Christensen. The Cardinals went 22-7 last year and took the consolation crown at the state tournament. Four starters graduated. Former coach David Adelman was a master of blending stars with team-oriented role players, and that will be Christensen’s challenge. Giving Flowers the ball every time at crunch time will often get results, but it may not be the best way to maximize the team’s potential.