LINCOLN -- Jessica Goldman made senior night memorable, scoring 24 points as Lincoln secured a berth in the upcoming Regional tournament by nailing down the 3A-1 West's No. 2 seed.
The 5-feet-10 forward came out sizzling knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and 2-of-2 free throws with the Lady Wolves (21-5, 11-2) racing out to a 16-1 lead midway through the first quarter en route to a 52-41 home court victory at Wolfpack Arena.
Greenland coach Alan Barton wasn't pleased with Greenland's perimeter defense which didn't keep track of Goldman in the early going. He acknowledged staying with Lincoln was tough when the Lady Wolves shoot a high percentage.
"Especially when you're not guarding them. She is a shooter, their best pure shooter. Seniors do that on senior night," Barton said. "It's not like we didn't know she was going to shoot when she got the ball. That's not a surprise to us. She made 3 of her first 4 shots and we dug a hole, down 16-1. Then we spent the whole game trying to play catch up."
Goldman had plenty of help. Junior center Robin Kirk added 12 points, scoring early on the low block; and senior Libby Calico drilled a trey.
Lincoln's 2-3 matchup zone defense bottled up the interior and coach Emilianne Slammons liked the result.
Greenland's first field goal came nearly four-and-a-half minutes into the contest when Fiona Wilson put back her own miss. The Lady Pirates couldn't take advantage of a 1:22 Lincoln scoring drought in the first thanks to timely defense by the Lady Wolves.
Goldman blocked a Wilson shot and cleared the rebound, and later Averi Massey, who ended the drought banking a running shot in traffic, stripped the Greenland star underneath the basket.
The Lady Wolves led 22-5 after one period of play, then outscored Greenland 24-21 over the middle two quarters to take a 46-26 lead into the fourth quarter.
Despite the loss, Barton drew a certain amount of satisfaction from the success of his former pupil, Lincoln coach Emilianne Slammons, who played high school basketball for Barton at Greenland.
Wilson and point-guard Destiny Jackson rallied Greenland in the fourth quarter. The pair combined for 12 points and Jamie Collier hit a 3-pointer as the Lady Pirates owned a 15-6 scoring advantage in the fourth. But they could get no closer than 50-38 at the 2:34 mark and Goldman answered with foul shots for Lincoln.
"The four seniors Lincoln has have bought into what coach Emily Slammons is doing. They've bought into her work ethic and her philosophy. Emily was on my coaching staff when we won state at Greenland. I'm happy for her," Barton said.
While Lincoln takes a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye into the District 3A-1 West tournament at West Fork, the path to Regionals is harder for Greenland which was led by Wilson's 24 points.
"We'll come in as either a third or fourth seed. We have one game to make it to Regionals and if we can get to Regionals, we have one game to make it to state," Barton said. "We've done some good things and we've done some bad things. We have a chance to go to Regionals. They're learning their roles. We're young. We've got a bunch of sophomores. We're trying to will them. As long as they keep trying to compete I can live with that."
LINCOLN 52, GREENLAND 41
Greenland (14-11, 7-6): Fiona Wilson 24, Destiny Jackson 12, Jamie Collier 3, Campbell Hill 2.
Lincoln (21-5, 11-2): Jessica Goldman 24, Robin Kirk 12, Tania Ortiz 6, Libby Calico 3, Kyli Jenkins 3, Averi Massey 2, Kinley Webb 2.
Sports on 02/13/2019
Print Headline: Goldman shines on senior night