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March 4, 2013

Warren Lincoln boys hoops team upends Clintondale in Class B district quarterfinal

Solid defense, clutch free throw shooting key in Abes win

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The Warren Lincoln boys basketball team beat Clinton Township Clintondale 62-52 in a MHSAA Class B quarterfinal played March 4 at Lincoln. Pictured is Abes senior guard Brandon Hicks (10), who scored 17 points in the win.

WARREN — Warren Lincoln boys basketball coach Jeff McGavin said his team is good enough to win when it plays its game and takes care of the ball.

That outlook came to fruition, as the Abes bested Clinton Township Clintondale 62-52 in a Class B district quarterfinal March 4 at Lincoln.

Lincoln (11-10) next plays Detroit Osborn at 5:30 p.m. March 6 at Lincoln.

"I thought we did a good job on defense for most of the night," McGavin said. "We played well, and we stayed on track and were able to get the job done. We have to be able to do the same thing if we want to keep winning."

The Abes' mix of zone defenses gave the Dragons (14-7) fits early on. Clintondale took a 3-0 lead early on a deep shot by Semaj Richardson, but managed just two points the rest of the quarter. Lincoln forced five Dragons miscues in the opening stanza on its way to a 14-5 advantage after one.

"They played pretty good defense on us, and I think a little of it might have been nerves — how we came out at the start," said Clintondale coach Rob Townsend, who guided the Dragons to a Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title this season.

"But these guys battled all night. They could have easily quit, and they didn't."

Lincoln led 25-15 at halftime, scoring nearly a point per possession on 26 offensive possessions. The Abes opened up as much as a 17-point lead in the third.

Clintondale made a furious rally in the fourth, cutting Lincoln's lead to 55-51 before Abes guards Brandon Hicks and Andi Sadiq sealed the win at the foul line. Hicks, who netted 17 points for Lincoln, went 6-for-6 from the stripe when the game was still in the balance. Sadiq, who led the Abes with 18, drained two freebies to put Lincoln up 60-52 late.

"(Sadiq) really stepped up for us tonight," McGavin said. "You've got teams trying to stop (Ables leading scorer Hicks), and we usually have a guy who steps up for us, and tonight it was Andi."

Abes center Dayshawn Hampton netted 11 points, while forward Davon Hampton chipped in seven.

Denzel Scott, who scored 13 points, paced the Dragons. Lamont Nelson and Dominick Hallums netted nine and seven  respectively, for Clintondale.

Each team forced 10 turnovers.

Lincoln shot 33 free throws to Clintondale's 16.

Lincoln's 62 points came on 57 possessions, good for 1.087 points per possession. Clintondale averaged .838 points per possession (62 offensive trips).

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.