New Trier struggles in loss to Lincoln Park

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It isn’t easy to find the silver lining in a loss.

Moral victories don’t count in the standings, but it can define how a team responds when it’s playing from behind, a position New Trier found itself in too many times in Monday’s 78-62 home loss to Lincoln Park.

“We’ve got guys that want to fight,” coach Scott Fricke said. “But we can’t be in that situation where we’re expending a lot of energy to get back and then all of a sudden, the momentum goes.”

Despite a solid effort from sophomores Spencer Boehm and Ciaran Brayboy, each of whom scored 13 points, the Trevians couldn’t overcome Lincoln Park’s hot shooting as they fell to 0-1. Alec Brent led the way for the Lions with 18 points and Marco Lewis added 15.

New Trier kept the game close until midway through the second quarter when Lincoln Park jumped out to an 11-point lead behind hot three-point shooting from guards Brent and Lewis, who were a combined 9-for-14 from behind the arc. But the Trevians answered with a 9-2 run of their own, behind steals by juniors Griffin Ryan and Andrew Kirkpatrick that led to layups. A three-pointer by Kirkpatrick cut the deficit to four heading into halftime.

But after starting the second half with a three-pointer by senior Dylan Horvitz, the Trevians had no answer for Lincoln Park’s offense, which shot 50 percent from three. The Lions went on a 22-6 run and led 52-38 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

“I think we weren’t getting as many transition points and we weren’t getting as many steals on defense,” said Kirkpatrick, who scored 12 points. “I just don’t think we were very comfortable on offense with the pressure they were giving us and either we turned the ball over or took bad shots.”

New Trier managed to close the gap again when Fricke went to his bench and brought in junior Matt Samuelson and seniors James Connors and Teddy McGregor. The three combined for eight points and six steals and kept the game within reach.

“They gave us what we needed,” Fricke said. “We wanted a little more length out there and then we knocked down some shots. We got a couple guys who could shoot it that were on the floor at that point and we knocked them down.”

McGregor’s layup brought the Trevians to within one, 60-59, but Lincoln Park proved too much to handle as they finished the game on a 19-2 run. New Trier battled from behind most of the game and failed to consistently close out on Lincoln Park’s perimeter players.

“We went on a string where we got a lot of stops in the third quarter and that’s when we got back in the game,” Fricke said. “But it didn’t matter what we were playing, we weren’t getting stops.”

New Trier will look to bounce back Tuesday against Mather.