Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:13 am
Blair, Lynx make new coach winner in debut

COUNCIL BLUFFS — When Zach Blair swished a corner 3-pointer late in the first quarter, he figured more positive results were ahead.

Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln’s hot-shooting sophomore guard hit three more difficult jumpers in the fourth to help his team gain some separation Tuesday night at A.L. Then, just like that, the Lynx beat Treynor 69-61 in Jason Isaacson’s coaching debut with the boys basketball program he played for in the early 2000s.

“If I hit my first shot, I know I’ll be on,” Blair said. “When I do that, I know it will be a good game.”

November victories are a far cry from mission accomplished. But the start carries plenty of weight for an Abraham Lincoln squad that went 1-21 last winter.

Blair led the Lynx (1-0) with 22 points, including a trey and fading bank shot on consecutive possessions to put his side ahead 53-52 with 4:33 to play. Leading 55-54 moments later, Blair nailed another corner triple as part of a decisive 10-0 spurt.

Blair found Colton Tracy underneath for a layup after that, and Sean Smith connected from the top of the key to make it 63-54 at the two-minute mark.

“We have lots to work on,” Isaacson said. “It’s nice to get a win while you’re working on it.”

Tracy scored 14 points overall, and Sean Smith added 12 for the home team, which went 24 of 45 from the field. It took its first lead of the night when Blair hit a teardrop in the lane midway through the third quarter.

Treynor (0-1) got a game-high 23 points from Alec Sorensen, while Ed Talbott and Ty Castle pitched in 13 and 12, respectively. A 4-for-18 fourth quarter proved fatal for the Cardinals, who lost twice all of last season.

“I don’t think we played that poorly,” coach Scott Rucker said. “There’s a lot of little things we need to clean up, and we have a starting point.
“I don’t know what kind of season (the Lynx) are going to have, but I thought they played really well tonight.”

The Cardinals stayed ahead most of the way, with their biggest cushion at 19-13 after Sorensen hit one of his five 3-pointers. But A.L. came back with a Tracy bucket and Smith free throw and hung around until taking over in the final frame.

The Lynx, who were frequently done in by turnovers last year, lost the battle just 13-10. Few turned into easy baskets.

“It feels great,” Blair said. “We’re pumped.”

Isaacson, meanwhile, acknowledged that his Iowa Class 4-A team should get used to beating smaller schools. But getting the best of a successful 2-A program like Treynor on opening night was still the best-case scenario for a roster looking for a performance to believe in.

The Lynx got one Tuesday.

“They work their tails off and put in a lot of time,” Isaacson said. “To win, it was nice to see.”

Treynor (0-1) ................. 14 20 14 13—61
CB Abraham Lincoln (1-0) ................. 10 21 15 23—69

T: Ryan Hempel 1-5 0-0 2, Ty Castle 6-9 0-0 12, Alec Sorensen 8-16 2-2 23, Trey Robinson 1-4 1-4 3, Nick Paulsen 1-6 0-0 2, Michael Wesley 2-6 0-0 5, Ed Talbott 6-14 0-0 13, Ryan Carley 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 25-60 4-8 61.
AL: Billy Coats 0-0 0-0 0, Kyle Crowl 1-2 0-0 3, Zach Blair 7-10 3-4 22, Alex Barrett 1-2 0-0 2, Joe Northup 1-1 0-1 3, Brian Johnson 4-10 1-2 9, Sean Smith 5-8 1-2 12, Connor Gann 0-1 4-4 4, Colton Tracy 5-11 4-6 14. Totals: 24-45 13-19 69.
3-point goals: T 7-21 (Hempel 0-2, Sorensen 5-8, Paulsen 0-3, Wesley 1-5, Talbott 1-3), AL 7-18 (Crowl 1-2, Blair 4-7, Northup 1-1, Johnson 0-4, Smith 1-2, Tracy 0-2). Total fouls: T 19, AL 10. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none. Turnovers: T 10, AL 13.

Contact the writer: Evan Bland    |  

Evan Bland is a staff writer for The World-Herald. He primarily covers western Iowa high school sports.

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