Lincolnview’s Nick Leeth dribbles past a Paulding defender in a game earlier this season at Lincolnview. The Lancers travel to Spencerville Friday. (TB file photo)
Lincolnview’s Nick Leeth dribbles past a Paulding defender in a game earlier this season at Lincolnview. The Lancers travel to Spencerville Friday. (TB file photo)

Times Bulletin Correspondent

SPENCERVILLE - The Lincolnview Lancers travel to Spencerville High School to take on Spencerville Bearcats on Friday night in boys basketball action. The Bearcats come into the contest with an 8-1 record in the Northwest Conference, which is good for a tie for first place with LCC.

The Lancers have a 4-3 record in the NWC, which puts them at a tie with Paulding for fifth in the conference race.

Lincolnview played one game last weekend, and beat Paulding to improve to 8-12 on the year. Spencerville played two games last weekend, defeating LCC and losing to Marion Local on Saturday to drop to 10-9 on the season.

The Bearcats are a very tough team loaded with experienced players. "They are an experienced team and a very well-balanced team. They have nine seniors on their team, and for a couple of them, this is their third year playing varsity. They've got a pretty talented junior in the Bowers kids and a pretty good freshman in Goecke. They are just a very aggressive team, offensively and defensively. They get after the ball, they rebound it well and they shoot the ball well," said Lancer coach Brett Hammons.

"Spencerville is a hard-nosed, physical team that likes to get after you on the defensive end of the floor. They are a good team that can make things difficult for other teams. I have been trying to stress to our guys the area I believe we can have success in. They like to play man-to-man defense, maybe mix in a little 2-3 zone. That's what we have seen the past six games, and we have been going against it. I think we will be ready for it on Friday, we have had some good practices and hopefully we can have one more and be prepared for Friday night," added Hammons.

The Lancers got a big win in conference last week, and they're looking to add another one. "We had some guys step up and make shots on last Friday night, and I'm very proud of them for doing that because we have had some poor shooting performances during the season. The farther the game went along the more confidence they got, and kids were getting their feet set and making the shots. I think it will carryover. It is always good to play with confidence. I have been telling the guys we have won five out of our last seven games. I think we can keep it going and now we need to continue it and just not let this be a one-game thing," com

Lincolnview would like to show that last Friday win wasn't a fluke. "I told the kids before practice we are sitting here 4-3 in the NWC and we are going to Spencerville who is 6-1, and if we want to stay in the top half of the NWC this is going to be a big game. We can continue to have a winning record in conference and if we win Friday it will gave us a winning record in the NWC. With how tough the conference is top to bottom I think is a huge accomplishment, so we are trying to get prepared and get ready for Friday night," said Hammons.

The Lancers are playing their best basketball the last couple of games and hope to continue that play into the tournament. "We are 5-2 in the last seven games and one of those was a double-overtime loss. I think we are playing our best basketball. At the start of the season we were a little slow as you can expect coming into the season with a new head coach. I think things are starting to gel together these last seven games I think our kids are starting to prove that by the confidence they are showing on the floor. With two regular season games left and we get Temple in tournament, who we are familiar with, so I think we are peaking at the right time of the season," commented Hammons.

The Lancers only play one game this weekend but the Bearcats play two as the face off against New Bremen on Saturday night.