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Sunday, March 6, 2011
L-S upsets top seed Revere in D1 North

By Joe Jasinski

REVERE, Mass. -- For the first 16 minutes, Lincoln-Sudbury had no answer for Revere senior standout Morgan Jenkins. The do-it-all guard-forward unleashed a 14-point first half that featured a three-minute stretch during which she alone outscored the Warriors 8-0.

Then came halftime. Then came a new-look L-S defense.

The visitors forced the previously-unbeaten Patriots to commit 13 turnovers in the second half -- due in large part to a suffocating half-court, man-to-man trap defense -- and held off a late surge with a little over two minutes to play to upset Revere, 51-43, in the sectional quarterfinals of the Massachusetts state tournament.

L-S moves on to face archrival Acton-Boxborough, the fifth seed in the North section, on Tuesday night.

“We just tried to get them on their heels,” Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Liza Feldman said. “Any time you can catch a team by surprise and get a quick turnover here and there and capitalize on it is key.”

In a game that featured seven lead changes -- the last coming with seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter, when L-S took a 39-38 advantage -- efforts defending the interior and on the glass from Warrior sophomore forwards Ashley Lutz and Mandy Sifferlen proved vital to Lincoln-Sudbury’s success.

“We knew that we are a really deep team and that we can push the ball really hard,” Lutz said. “And that all starts with the rebounding. We had to box out, be hard and look to push it to our guards.”

Containing Jenkins took priority, Sifferlen said.

“We were up against one of the best offensive rebounders that we’re seen. We really had to play up to her game.”

The duo combined for 26 rebounds, with Lutz totaling 16 points while Sifferlen chipped in with 10. Winning the battle of the boards was the primary item for Feldman’s squad.

“Rebounding in general today was the number one thing going in,” Feldman said. “I watched [Revere] play the other night and I said, the number one thing we have to do is to outrebound.”

The Warriors held a narrow rebounding edge overall, snagging 43 to Revere’s 39.

Yet Jenkins’ performance cannot be underestimated.

The star finished with a game-high 21 points, accompanied by 13 rebounds, four steals and three blocks. On a single possession in the second quarter, Jenkins blocked a baseline jumper by Sifferlen, then emphatically swatted a rebounded put-back from L-S point guard Meghan Sanford (Four points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals).

Jenkins' most memorable play came with under three minutes to play in the first quarter. After registering her first steal of the night, she glided down the court, weaving through defenders, then converted a layup while being fouled.

She went to the line four times after made baskets on the night, converting two of the four additional free throws. Each and-one brought thunderous applause from a rowdy Revere student body.

“[Jenkins is] outstanding,” Feldman said. “She has a real nose for the basketball and she’s a very tough player.”

However, Jenkins did not attempt a field goal in the final minute and a half of the game, during which L-S went on a 7-0 run.

The Warriors' victory was defined by balance. Beside the two forwards, the eight-seed received contributions from guards Lindsey Jones (nine points, six rebounds, four assists) and Iliana Quadri (six points) among others.

“I’m always impressed with my girls,” Feldman said. “They really believe it each other, and I told them, that’s going to be the thing to help us win games in the playoffs. To play together, play composed, and with a team like Revere, who is outstanding but doesn’t go as deep as we do, to just hang on and if we have to make our run late, we’ll make our run late.”