Carter Glenn has been sick all week with the flu, but his drive to the basket was quite healthy in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Lincoln East boys basketball team on Friday night.
The 5-foot-10 sophomore came off the bench to score 12 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to spark the Class A No. 9 Spartans to a 55-47 victory against No. 4 Kearney before an estimated 1,200 spectators at the East Gym.
“(Lincoln East coach Jeff) Campbell told me to just keep attacking, and with their defenders playing off me, the drive was there,” said Glenn, who had not practiced since Monday and was out of school until Friday.
Glenn helped the Spartans (3-0) wipe out a 40-33 deficit in the final 1:10 of regulation with a pair of driving layups, the second a left-handed one from the right side. The Bearcats (0-2), 8 of 21 from the free throw line for the game, was just 5 of 11 at the stripe in the final period, leaving East an opening at the end.
Connor Riekenberg pulled the Spartans even for the first time since late in the second quarter with a three-pointer from right of the key to tie it at 42 with 10 seconds left in regulation.
It was tied at 47 when Glenn took over in the final 1:05 of the extra session. A Glenn driving layup put East in front to stay before netting 4 of 6 free throws in the final 46.3 seconds for a 53-47 Spartan advantage.
Two free throws by Peyton Stoppel produced the final score with 7.4 seconds remaining.
“Carter did a really nice job considering the situation and the fact he hadn’t practiced in three days because he was sick,” Campbell said of Glenn, who hit a runner in the lane for the first basket in overtime. “He gave us the spark we needed at that point.”
Both teams played lock-down defense, making it difficult for either team to score during several stretches of the game. East finished 19 of 52 from the field (36 percent), while the Bearcats hit 18 of 47 shots (38 percent).
“It was an intense, physical game,” Campbell said. “Kearney plays great defense, they don’t give you many open looks. But I thought we also played well defensively, and that’s what kept us in it until we finally hit some shots at the end.”
Jett Janssen, a 6-4 junior, had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans, including a three-point play in overtime. Riekenberg finished with 11.
Shiloh Robinson, a 6-8 senior Liberty recruit, had a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Kearney, despite sitting out large portions of the second and third quarters with foul trouble. He was 8 of 12 from the field.
East girls 55, Kearney 46
Olivia Kugler scored eight of her 13 points in the third quarter to help the Spartans (2-1) pull away from a 24-22 halftime lead to a 42-35 margin heading into the final period. Charlotte Bovaird also netted 13 for the winners, hitting 6 of 6 free throws in the second half to help the Spartans secure the victory.
Alexis Mishou’s 15 points and 12 more from Aspen Rusher paced Kearney (1-1).