Mott falls 74-67 to Lincoln College in national final

Posted: March 19, 2011 by Jared Field in High School

DANVILLE, Illinois — It wasn’t meant to be. For the first time in the last three trips to the national tournament, Mott finally took a loss. After trailing by 12 at the half, the Bears fought back, cutting Lincoln’s lead to four before falling 74-67. The Bears finished the season with a record of 33-3.

In the end, Mott simply couldn’t dig itself out of the first half hole. The Bears struggled mightily on the offensive end in the first half, scoring a season-low 21 points on 26 percent shooting from the field.

Lincoln’s Florida State-bound center, 6-11 Kiel Turpin, gave Mott fits throughout the game, scoring numerous second chance points for the Lynx. Turpin, who was also named the tournament MVP, finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Perhaps even more impressive was the play of their power forward, Dawson West, who scored 20 points with seven rebounds.

Mott actually outplayed Lincoln in the second half, but time ran out on the comeback spearheaded by sophomore guard Demetrius Miller, who led Mott with 16 points.

What should have been the culmination of a great week of basketball was marred by at least three fights during the game. Police had to be called to the gym to sort things out. There was one skirmish in the stands and at least two in the parking lot. The game had to be stopped for at least five minutes to get things sorted out. The completely ridiculous behavior by the Lincoln fans was unfortunate because this was a hard-fought and well-deserved victory for the Lynx.

I would, however, be remiss if I failed to mention how pivotal the loss of Sam Burton was to Mott’s success. Burton is Mott’s best slasher and his absence was all too obvious in the first half when Mott couldn’t get anything going to the basket. Burton started the game, but left the floor just to minutes in and never got back. Here’s hoping the knee injury he suffered against Phoenix College is not serious.

Mike Brigham played a solid all-around game for Mott, though he was once again slowed by foul trouble. Brigham finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Doug Anderson added 14 points and 12 rebounds. Both were named to the all-tournament team.

In the end, Mott was doomed by the inability to hold down the paint defensively (Lincoln scored 50 in there) and very poor outside shooting (4-for-24).

All in all it was a great season for the Bears. There’s  no shame in losing to a better team, and tonight they were better.

  1. A. Biggers says:

    Hell of a run. Mott played tough all week, but were ultimately beat by a team similar to itself — minus the 6-11 Turpin. The Lynx appeared to be well-conditioned, great athletically and tough defensively. Just like the Bears.

    Mott hand a great season. It was fun being a part of it, even if was just writing about it.

  2. mesha says:

    Mott fans are the best! thank you for your support and having great class. we know how to cheer without fighting. too bad lincoln brought rude people you cant all them fans

  3. erik says:

    dang sry to hear this…i got a few friends on the team and was really hoping they could be able to experience something like that!

  4. Cinderella says:

    yep great run! congrats to Lincoln. Jared your right about the class part they have none!

  5. A. Biggers says:

    I actually have video of the scrum, but I didn’t want to taint a local team’s run. As a writer, I guess it’s my duty to report things like that, but there were no police or serious injuries, so I let it be.

    For the record, in my video, there were a few Mott fans in the stands, and it looked like, to me, that Lincoln fans were taunting them. Mott fans are older for the most part. Lincoln brought the JUCO Izzone with them, but the group had much less class than the Spartan faithful, which is classy.

    It’s unfortunate that on a national stage people had to get out of control. But when you have a gym full of passionate fans, stuff like that is bound to happen. I’m not sure if the Danville paper reported it, but I saw a photographer snapping photos with the quickness.

    Either way you look at it, I thought Mott’s fans — and this is from someone who could care less which team won — were classy the whole way. Lincoln played a great game and exposed a team that just wasn’t ready for the title… But that doesn’t negate the fact that Lynx fans surely embarrassed themselves at a huge event that was put together well from top to bottom. I hope to get another chance to cover the tournament. It was a week to remember, and unfortunately, the scrum in the stands sticks with me… But not too much.

  6. A. Biggers says:

    Clarification: A few Mott fans sitting in the Lincoln section… They were surrounded!

  7. A. Biggers says:

    @Jared: I didn’t see police in the gym… So I guess with them being present, I should have at least mentioned it…

  8. Cinderella says:

    they had the parking lot surrounded when we left. 10 min. after the game

  9. MikeHelms3 says:

    Where are Burton,Brigham,Norris,Miller,and Anderson going after this year, anything you can tell us about the sophomores recruitment?

    • Jared Field says:

      Brigham and Anderson are D-1 locks. I think they have at least 10 low to mid-major offers between them.

      Burton, Norris and Miller are all borderline D-1 right now. They all did some nice things in the national tournament. Miller probably has the best shot at D-1 after three solid games of four at nationals.

      All five may end up at that level, but obviously they are all getting a free education if they handle their business in the classroom the rest of the way. Good group of guys. In retrospect, they really overachieved. After Mott cut ties with Leviante Davis in mid-season, they played with one real post player all the way to the title game.

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