SPORTS EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series revisiting Legends of Lincoln High School basketball.
LINCOLN -- The rules of basketball allow for "correctable errors" along with the notation, "book-keeping errors may be corrected any time up until the approval of the final score."
This spring, the Enterprise-Leader erroneously reported Lincoln's 2013-2014 boys basketball team as being the only Wolves' team to win a state tournament game.
That team featuring one of Lincoln's all-time greats Shandon "Biggie" Goldman, now 6-feet-10 playing for Northern Iowa, defeated Bauxite, 49-44, on March 5, 2014; then lost a quarterfinal game to eventual 2014 State 4A champion, Brookland, on March 8, 2014. The 48-25 score was misleading from what played out as a fairly competitive game over the first three quarters. Lincoln was within 26-23 late in the third quarter before Brookland finished the game on a 22-2 run.
As good as they were, beginning the season 15-0, winning a share of the 4A-1 Conference championship with Farmington (11-3), which Lincoln defeated twice in the regular season, 48-42 at Farmington Jan. 10, 2014, and 54-47 Feb. 2 at Wolfpack Arena; and claiming a 4A North Regional Runner-up trophy, the 2014 Wolves (22-6, 11-3) were not the first Lincoln boys basketball team to win a state tournament game.
First State Team
That distinction belongs to the 1955-1956 Wolves, who went 33-3, winning a conference crown, district tournament championship, and placing as State Runner-up to Valley View, which edged Lincoln, 73-70, in the 1956 state finals.
Loyd Jones played jumping center at 6-feet-3, establishing himself as post presence and scoring 30 points in the 1956 state championship game. Jones and teammates, J.T. Babb and Willis Edmiston, each continued their careers with basketball scholarships. Babb, the team's top scorer primarily as an outside shooter, went to Arkansas Tech while Jones and Edmiston went to the University of Arkansas, Jones utilized basketball as a springboard to get a college degree he could not have afforded otherwise. Jones spent 45 years in education as a basketball coach, teacher and superintendent of schools.
Lincoln's 1959 team also finished as state runner-up.
Jones, in a recent interview, expressed a degree of familiarity with the Goldman and other multi-generational familial legacies as part of Lincoln basketball lore.
Of, Shandon "Biggie" Goldman, who scored 1,055 career points in a Lincoln uniform, Jones admits to not having seen Goldman play, yet tracked his career.
"I never saw him play, but I know that he done very well when he was in high school and also since then," Jones said. "He's been a great representative of Lincoln basketball."
Pointing to a yearbook photo of one of his 1955-1956 teammates, Roger Pitts, who played a reserve role, Jones notes Pitts' desendants have played basketball for Lincoln. Dalton Simmons, a 5-8 guard, who bears a strong resemblance to his grandfather, Roger Pitts, nailed a 3-pointer late in overtime to pull Lincoln within a point during a 73-72 March 1, 2014, Regional championship loss to highly-favored Maumelle. Simmons' cousin, Alec Pitts, then a junior 5-8 guard, also a grandson of Roger Pitts, was on the 2014-2015 roster.
1980s Peak Team
Shandon "Biggie" Goldman's father, Greg Goldman, played a key role for a 1980s Lincoln team that won 30 games and went into the state tournament undefeated only to lose in the first-round. Jones is well-aware of the achievement.
"I remember his dad, Greg Goldman, when he played. I saw his dad play quite a bit when he was in high school. He had a great career at Lincoln. He did a great job for them," Jones said. "I only saw them play a time or two. I remember Greg, particularly, he was a heckuva shooter, and they had a good ball team."
Jones remembers Lincoln head boys basketball coach, Tim Rich, who was part of the 1980s powerhouse Lincoln squad. Tim Rich's son, Eli Rich, missed the 2018-2019 basketball season because of a torn ACL, but rebounded to qualify for State 3A track and field meet in the high jump during the spring.
Pepping Up Lincoln
Greg Goldman said the community relates to basketball success and celebrates with each Wolf win.
"I can even remember that when I played back in the 80s with me and Pat Summers and Tim Rich and Henry Burks and Paul Moorman, it was the talk of the town. Everybody was fired up," Greg Goldman said. "And just everybody was in a better mood. It's kind of like when the Razorbacks are winning. When the (football) Razorbacks go 2-10 or whatever there's not a lot of excitement in the fall around here and so it's kind of like that and it works on a local level, too, small level."Sports on 07/10/2019
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