The 2018-2019 Lincoln High Schools boy basketball team has been nothing but exciting for the first 14 games of the year. With an overall record of 10-4, the Lions have been rolling through teams as the connection between all of the players has led to great teamwork. The offense has been fun to watch, and most people will believe that the offense is the reason for the success. Out of the ten wins, Lincoln has had five 60 or more point games. That is impressive. However, any team can score 60 plus points in a high school game. Scoring points is not the recipe to winning basketball games, even though the team with more points wins. To win basketball games in any league, defense will more likely than not be the reason for success.
The 2017-2018 season for Lincoln saw them finish at 11-11 overall. Out of the 22 games, Lincoln allowed 55 plus points in 13 of those games. Not getting back on defense obviously can play a factor, but perhaps focusing more on offense can be a reason. This then had the Lions finish 7th in the Division lll playoff picture, only to get knocked out first round by Tiverton, who has not been upgraded to Division ll for the 2018-2019 season. Tiverton was a powerhouse in the division last year, as an argument could be used to say that they are just simply more talented as they were moved up to Division ll. However, if Lincoln had played better defense during the regular season, they would not be put in a position to play Tiverton in the first round. In seven of the eleven losses, Lincoln did score over 55 points as well, including at least 60 points in three of those games. This is a prime example of why offense will not necessarily win you games.
Fast forwarding to 2019, the Lions have looked much better. A 10-4 start will most likely not end with an overall record of 11-11 by the end of the season. An important factor has been the defense. Lincoln has played with a new edge this year, as the intensity level on defense has been on a whole new level. With Lincoln Lion players getting right into the opponent's air space, it has resulted in missed shots. With missed shots by the opposing team, that has led to less points by their opponent. With the missed shots, the Lions immediately push the ball up the court for easy buckets. In the first 14 games of the season, the Lions have not allowed over 50 points in eight of those games. This excites everybody in the gym, creating a ton of momentum.
The Lions are ready to take on any opponent, as their confidence is sky high. Scoring points in basketball does not necessarily mean you will win basketball games. The lions will not stop playing defense no matter what. With the playoffs coming up, Lincoln is looking to continue their winning ways, and will finish establishing an identity.