Boys Basketball: Lincoln’s defense makes up for poor offense in win over Balboa

Lincoln junior guard Mitchell Lee (right) steps in front of Balboa senior guard Jonathan Burnoski on Wednesday at Lincoln High School. (Photo by Eric Luis)

By Jeremy Balan

As poorly as Lincoln High School’s boys basketball team played offensively in their Academic Athletic Association opener against Balboa on Wednesday, the Mustangs made up for those struggles by locking down the Bucs’ best player.

The Mustangs only shot 30 percent from the floor against the visiting Bucs, but the duo of junior guards Mitchell Lee and Randy Hyson blanketed standout Balboa guard Jonathan Burnoski from baseline to baseline in a 47-39 Lincoln win.

Burnoski scored 10 points, but shot 4-of-25 from the floor, while the Bucs (11-4, 0-1) took 12 more shots than Lincoln (6-9, 1-0) and shot just over 25 percent from the floor as a team.

Lincoln senior guard Chris Young releases a layup against Balboa on Wednesday at Lincoln High School. (Photo by Eric Luis)

“We did a good job of making everything difficult for Burnoski,” said Lincoln head coach Matt Jackson. “Randy and Mitchell are really good defenders and they were on him. A lot of stuff they do runs through him and when we took that out, it took them off their game.”

Fellow Balboa captain Fletcher Brown also had his own shooting struggles, hitting just one shot on 16 attempts from the floor.

“In a couple of the losses we’ve had, patience was an issue,” said Balboa head coach Val Cubales. “The guys played with a lot of heart, but it was the impatience and the mental aspect of the game, where we rushed things when we didn’t have to.”

Lincoln’s own shooting issues kept the score close throughout and the game featured eight lead changes and four ties, but with the Balboa offense running entirely through Burnoski and Brown, the Mustangs held a 40-33 lead with 59 seconds remaining.

But in an instant, Brown and Burnoski connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to close the deficit to 41-39 with 27 seconds remaining. The made shots ended a 0-for-13 field goal drought for Burnoski and a 0-for-15 run for Brown.

“Some of the opportunities were there, but we just weren’t hitting them,” Cubales said.

The final Balboa push came up short, though, as the Mustangs hit six straight free throws in the final 21 seconds to seal the win.

Lincoln senior guard Chris Young hit four of those free throws and had eight points in the final quarter. Young finished with a game-high 19 points and also had a hot streak in the second quarter, where he connected on two 3-pointers and scored another eight points to give the Mustangs a 23-21 lead at the break.

“He has so many skills and so many tools he can go to,” Jackson said. “Sometimes I hate that he relies on the 3-point shot, because he’s so quick at getting to the basket, and when he does that, he can make everyone else better.”

Lincoln sophomore center Seth Snoddy added eight points and eight rebounds, but the Bucs feasted on offensive rebounds to get several second- and third-chance opportunities.

The major benefactor was Balboa sophomore forward Lamar Anderson, who had a team-high 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting, almost entirely from put-backs.

The rebounding issues concern Jackson, as the Mustangs have the size and athleticism to control the boards against any team in the AAA.

“We’re going to have to find some heart and some toughness,” Jackson said. “We don’t do great against physical play, especially when it comes to rebounding. Our bigs just have to get better.”

Scoring Summary

Lincoln
Chris Young — 19
Seth Snoddy — 8
James Gurr — 6
Christopher Posey — 4
Two players tied with 3 points

Balboa
Lamar Anderson — 12
Jonathan Burnoski — 10
John Bender — 7
DiJon Jones — 5
Fletcher Brown — 3

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17 Comments

  1. GCJ01 says:

    JB you’re putting in some overtime here. Time to go to bed!

  2. GCJ01 says:

    Burnoski’s 4-25 was the difference maker in the game. Bal could’ve easily won this game. No, it’s not Burnoski’s fault the Bucs lost. It’s a team effort. However, they could’ve easily capitalized on Lincolns poor shooting and won by a sizable margine. One thing to take away from this game is that Bal is no joke this year and will compete with ANYONE. I can’t wait til the Bal vs. Mission game on January 9th.

    • Anonymous says:

      No disrespect to this conversation, I was at the Mission /Marshall game, surperior AAA athletes on both teams; ask anyone at that game, and they will tell you, that game was played at a very high level.

      Marshall and Mission are the best teams in their division, I have seen Lincoln , Balboa, Galileo, Burton, Lowell and washington play in the preseason, none of those teams are no the level of a Mission or Marshall.

      Mission escaped with the win last night, but left Marshall knowing they barely beat a team with only seven players. Mission did not get control of the game, until late in the fourth quarter after three marshall players fouled out and Marshall had to finish the game with four players.

      Marshall is a very good half court team on offense and defense, they are not your typical transition up and down AAA team, they play good defenses, and exucute in their halfcourt offense, Marshall beat Mission on back door plays and pick and rolls all night.

      You folk can talk about Lincoln and Balboa in the lang division all you want, its about Mission and Marshall on that side. I first saw Marshall at the Burlingame tournament against Washington in the consilation game, It wasn’t close, Marshall dominate the game from the start to the finish.

  3. Mmmiles./ batman says:

    Oh shoot! Mitchell got a pic showing some lOck down-D! And im suppress Chris just didn’t have 20. Haha Good job

  4. sf alum says:

    good game for lincoln and #5 looks like a fine player

    balboa is also a good team but they could use a little depth, i think their main guys got fatigued a bit

    hopefully both teams get better as league play goes on.

    • bb fan says:

      #5 is a good all aroung player. why isn’t he playing PG.? seems like he knows the play that coaches call, other sometimes look lost.

      • mustang fan says:

        He did a few years ago, then moved to the 2 guard. I think Junior Mitchell Lee took over the 1 position.

        • bb fan says:

          oh! why? he is so quick and so dangerous. i like seeing him at PG. he create plays.

        • bb fan says:

          i have seen other guards from other high school. this #5 kid is for real. he never complains to the ref and he play hard. i am definitely a fan of his. enjoy seeing him played and so much options with this kid. if i was coach, i am glad he play for me. work ethics and attitude is so important and this kid has it. hate to see him go next year. i wish him the best of luck in the college level. he will do fine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think Oliver Wald is the mvp for Balboa

  6. Anonymous says:

    what happened to lincolns other high scorers? did they play?

    • Anonymous says:

      Same goes for Balboa why did they sit some of their key players?

      • Anonymous says:

        Chad has been out sick for over two weeks and just came back, he wasn’t healthy enough to play. Other reasons for a few others. hopefully everyone will be ready to go come mission.

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