Lincoln Abes saw Tacoma Dome well in March. What they weren’t particularly good at was winning when they got here.
This was repeated on Wednesday when the eighth-seeded Abeys stayed close before finally succumbing, 60-52, № 9 Lakeside in the first round of the game for Class 3A girls.
“Of course, this is not the finish we want,” said Lincoln coach Jamila Jones. “We are going there. It is unacceptable for me to go to Kupala. I’m not going to let myself go. “
Lincoln found itself in a position of mandatory victory after a regional defeat last weekend by Mead, who sowed the best number. This meant that Abes needed a win on the first day over the Lions to continue playing at Dome.
Despite scoring 21 points from guard Zion Wales, Lincoln was unable to finish again. Wednesday was Abe’s seventh appearance at the Tacoma Dome in the last eight tournaments played.
A year ago, the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out all state playoffs.
In those performances, Lincoln has only one trophy for the fifth place he took in 2017, when Abes reached the semifinals before losing the last two games. Since then, Lincoln has now scored 0-5 in games held at Tacoma Dome.
“If we go into battle, I can accept that,” Jones said. “We played hard for 32 minutes.”
For most of the first half against Lakeside, those efforts paid off in the lead. Although the game remained close for the first 16 minutes, Abes held the lead in five separate cases during the second quarter.
The final advantage, 26-25, came 1 minute 58 seconds before the end of the first half when Deandra Woods-Singleton went out of the lane and made a short corner kick.
The Lions responded to the next possession by getting three-pointer Claire O’Connor from 1:37 to the end of the half to bring the Lions back ahead, 28-26. Lincoln will never rule again.
O’Connor’s shot caused the series to score 8-3 to complete the second quarter when Lakeside took a 33-29 lead at halftime. It was a lead that grew to eight, 47-39, by the end of the third quarter.
But Abes was left with one challenge. Jalie Robinson scored five of her 10 points to make a 7-2 leap that brought Lincoln back for three with a score of 5:52, 49-46. However, in the next two possessions Lincoln with the ability to equalize or at least further reduce the gap Lincoln threw the ball.
“Finishing the property,” Jones said. “This is what we need to be the best at. We talk about it. We train this. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “
Because Lincoln failed to seize those chances in the middle of the fourth quarter, the Lions were able to recover themselves. Mia Broome scored the last goal of the game with 20 points with a score of 4:42, then O’Connor made the second of two free kicks, and the lead returned to six, 52-46.
Next O’Connor made five of seven from the line of free throws on the fourth and finished with the top 22 points and 17 rebounds and four assists.
This combination with Broom and Hannah Dickinson, who added 16 points and seven rebounds, was more than enough to make up for four 3-point and 21 points from Wales and company.
“After all, we need to be a little tougher,” Jones said. “Any day we have to find a way to win at the Dome. I’m doing it a little bit now, come here and make it unacceptable to me. But we have a young team. Most of the year we started with three sophomores and two juniors. If these five return, I think we will be fine. “