Lady Lions shock Lincoln in front of a full capacity crowd

On Tuesday, Jan. 3, the last day of winter break, the Booster gym was filled for a marquee matchup between the Lincoln Abes and the Bellarmine Lions, two top women’s teams in the state.

Bellarmine was looking to bounce back after a tough start to the season going 2-4 before this matchup. Lincoln came into the game with an outstanding 8-1 record and looked to keep the good times rolling. The Lions had other plans.

Bellarmine was faced with a steep task guarding 6 ‘3 Oliviyah Edwards who garnered national attention and is currently ranked eighth in the Class of 2026, according to ESPN. She is one of the few female basketball players in the world regardless of the level who can dunk.

As the first whistle blew and tip-off began Edwards immediately made her presence felt scoring the first 13 points for Lincoln including nine points off of the three ball. The Lions trailed for the majority of the first half and the deficit grew to double digits in the second quarter yet Bellarmine did not quit and kept the game at striking distance. A flurry of threes from guards Keiara Curtis, Jada Travis, and Kiara Stone brought the Lions close and senior Gabi Miller finished through contact and converted the three-point play to cut the Lincoln lead to just two points going into halftime.

As the second half began, the packed gym buzzed with anticipation about what the rest of the game would bring. The Lions immediately got to work hitting shot after shot and were ice cold from the charity stripe wasting no opportunities.

As the third quarter drew to a close it was Lincoln who played from behind and at to play catch up. The Lions neutralized Edwards for most of the second half, frustrating her on offense by contesting shots and avoiding her elite rim protection by taking outside shots in the half-court set and beating her to the rim in transition. Edwards committed a game-altering technical foul on a Stone drive, leading to four straight free throws three of which found the bottom of the net.

As the fourth quarter continued to expire,the clock could not move any slower for the Lions as they desperately fought off wave after wave of Lincoln scoring runs. However, they always responded with their own. The saying goes that some teams “live and die by the three” and the Lions certainly proved this true, splashing shot after shot never allowing the well to run dry.

Lincoln cut the lead to just 1 point late in the fourth quarter but Curtis put on a herculean performance, hitting threes in defenders’ eyes and converting one after being spun around by the defender and throwing up a backward over-the-head shot off of the glass. With minutes left in the game, Bellarmine could essentially end the game with a stop and delivered an amazing display of team defense led by senior Taylor Teeple. A few free throws later and that’s all she wrote as the Lions pulled off a stunning underdog win 69-60 against Lincoln.

The Lions hope to continue this momentum against Graham-Kapowsin on the Jan. 5 where the Lions will be favored and will look to move above 500. and win their first SPSL matchup. If their last game against Lincoln was any indication of what is to come, the Lions will certainly be a scary opponent for any team that has found their rhythm.