Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Lincoln withstands Skyline rally to win DISD/Coca-Cola tourney
Lincoln coach unhappy with team's play despite winning tournament
Lincoln coach Michael Ensley was disappointed. And his team had just defeated Skyline, 66-60, on Thursday night to claim the DISD/Coca-Cola girls basketball tournament.
After taking an 18-point lead into halftime, Lincoln almost let the championship game slip away at Ellis Davis Field House.
Two key baskets by Jade Colbert down the stretch, including the final one with 24 seconds left, and a turnover on Skyline’s next possession sealed the victory.
“I’m not happy,” Ensley said as he walked off the court. “No energy, bad decisions, no leadership. I just think we didn’t play the way Lincoln basketball is supposed to be played. A lot of that had to do with Skyline. But our effort just wasn’t there.”
Breanna Hayden led Lincoln (17-0) with 19 points. She and Kelsey Criner were largely responsible for the Tigers’ taking a 46-28 halftime lead. She scored 15 points in the first half.
Lincoln’s Alisha Washington finished with 15 points, and Criner scored 14 with three 3-pointers.
Criner was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Washington and Colbert made the all-tournament team.
Skyline coach Cassandra McCurdy praised her team’s valiant comeback. The Raiders (18-3) dug a deep hole as Lincoln went on a 15-3 run late in the second quarter. Just before the halftime buzzer, Criner converted a Skyline turnover into a 3-pointer.
“At halftime I just said, ‘Keep playing, we have 16 minutes of basketball left,’” McCurdy said. “We could either roll over or play our hardest. We needed to change the defense and slow them down. That was the most important thing.”
Skyline switched to a 1-3-1 zone, which had the desired effect. Lincoln seemed tentative as it tried to penetrate. And the Tigers’ outside shots weren’t falling as they did in the first half.
Skyline’s Jen Von’Ta Hill took charge in the third quarter, scoring 14 points as Skyline cut Lincoln’s lead to 56-45.
Hill finished with a game-high 22 points. Stabresa McDaniel had 15 points, and Marina Lilly added 12. Hill and McDaniel made the all-tournament team.
But Skyline couldn’t get closer than six points. With 29.3 seconds left, Lincoln ran a perfectly designed play. Hayden inbounded to Criner, who found Colbert alone underneath the basket. The Lady Raiders fumbled away the next possession, and then Lincoln ran out the clock.
“As somebody once said, ‘If you can play ugly and still win, we’ll take it,’ ” Ensley said. “We’re a young team that’s trying to reach the next level of maturity.”
In the consolation final, Arkansas Little Rock Parkview defeated Denton Guyer, 51-36.
DISD/COCA-COLA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
MVP: Kelsey Criner, Lincoln
Jasmine Leday, Denton Guyer
Jade Colbert, Lincoln
Kelsey Criner, Lincoln
Erin Peoples, Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview
Megan Doe, Mesquite Poteet
Brittny Norris, North Forney
Acheil Tac, Sachse
Stabresa McDaniel, Skyline
Jen Von'Ta Hill, Skyline
Kierra Davis, West Mesquite