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Alma sweeps Lincoln

Whalen, Airedales hold off Wolves 

 
By Kevin Taylor
Alma Schools 
 
LINCOLN  Nathan Whalen came up big in the closing minutes of Wednesday's 57-49 victory over Lincoln. 
 
But the biggest bucket of the night is the one Wolves should have seen coming. 
 
Leading 53-49, and with the ball out of bounds underneath their own basket following a timeout, Alma's Logan Taylor fed a wide-open Drew Battles with an easy layup to help Alma hold on for its third straight victory. 
 
Alma (4-1) resumes the season Dec. 29 against Lamar. 
 
"Nate had some big offensive rebounds and free throws," Alma coach Stan Flenor said. "Obviously, we've got to improve on the free-throw line to get better."
 
Free throws have been an Achilles heel for the Airedales, but rebounding hasn't. Alma dominated on both ends during Wednesday's victory. 
 
The Airedales led wire-to-wire, though Lincoln made one final scoring push in the fourth quarter. 
 
After Jacob Coursey's layup put the Airedales ahead by nine (42-33), Lincoln scored 12 points over the next two minutes to close within 46-45. 
 
Battles had a key 3-pointer to give the Airedales a 51-45 cushion. The senior guard finished with 15 points. 
 
"We're still evolving as a team," Flenor said. "We just need more practice time and more chemistry. When you're playing on the road, it can be tough. We didn't set the house on fire, but we also played very well defensively."
 
Alma, which is starting five first-year players, led 13-11 after one quarter and 23-20 at the half. Lincoln got within two six different times in the second half. 
 
Whalen and Hunter McAlister combined for 30 points and 19 rebounds. In fact, the big three of Whalen, McAlister, and Battles combined for 45 of Alma's 57 total points. 
 
Alma 52, Lincoln 41 
 
GIRLS  Alma overcame a lot of fouls with a nice overall team effort during a 52-41 victory Wednesday at Lincoln High School. 
 
Presli Taylor snapped a second-half scoring drought by swishing a 3-pointer from the far baseline and the Alma Lady Airedales then pulled away for an 11-point road victory. The Lady Airedales led 35-22 at the half but managed just one field goal in the third quarter as Lincoln chipped away to within six. 
 
Loryn Kelley, who led Alma with 14 points, buried a trey extend Alma's lead to 15 (46-31) with 5:11 left to play. 
 
After scoring just twice in the third quarter, Alma lit it up for 15 in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. 
 
Taylor finished with 11 for the winners (4-4).