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Lincoln drops Del Oro boys in double OT

Zebras win ninth straight game
By: Joshua Gutierrez / Special to the Journal
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LINCOLN — Two overtime periods were needed to decide Wednesday night’s Del Oro and Lincoln varsity boys basketball game. In the end, shots beyond the arc  were the ultimate factor in Del Oro’s 74-69 loss.
With nearly one minute remaining in the second overtime period, Del Oro managed their first 3-pointer of the game as Colin Mitchell drained a shot from atop the key. Prior to Michell’s shot, the Golden Eagles (10-5) were mired in an 0-for-17 slump.
On the very next possession, Ryan Takayama followed in his teammates wake and drained another 3-pointer. The successive shots cut the Zebras’ late eight-point lead down to two.
But needing to send the Zebras (12-4) to the foul line to regain possession, the Golden Eagles could not overtake Lincoln’s 9-for-12 performance at the line.
“If we knock some shots down, it’s a different game,” said Del Oro head coach Geoff Broyles. “We just struggled making shots.”
Lincoln flourished with its backs against the wall, draining critical shots in key situations.
With Del Oro holding an 51-49 lead with under 10 seconds to play, Lincoln recovered an errant pass and attempted what would have been the game-winning trey. But as the shot missed, the Zebras’ Alexis Gonzales rebounded and hurled the ball against the backboard.
With the shot teetering just outside the rim, Del Oro was charged with a goaltending violation as a Golden Eagle player disrupted the shot, ultimately forcing the game into overtime.
In the first overtime period, the Golden Eagles assumed a three-point lead after two successful free throws by Takayama.
On Lincoln’s ensuing possession, Matt Shirley found a break in Del Oro’s zone coverage and drained a game-tying 3-pointer with less than two seconds to go.
Shirley connected again on another 3-pointer as Lincoln gained momentum towards their ninth-consecutive win.
Four Golden Eagles’ players ended the night with double-digit point totals. Keenan Finney led all scorers with 18 on the night. The 6-foot-4 junior assumed control of the first half with a 6-for-10 performance from the floor.
Danny Becker scored 16 points, 14 of which came after both teams returned for the second half.
Connor Drake finished with 15 points and Trevor Pistochini rounded out the foursome with 10.