Lincoln outlasts Neshaminy, advances to PIAA Class 6A semifinals

Lincoln’s Emeul Charleston reacts on the court after the team’s 77-70 win over Neshaminy in the PIAA Class 6A boys' basketball quarterfinal at Archbishop Ryan High School on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

School wasn’t in session Saturday afternoon, but it’s possible anyone in Abraham Lincoln High School could hear the roar all the way from the gym at Archbishop Ryan.

In a victorious postgame mosh-pit, the Railsplitters from Lincoln rattled the eardrums of onlookers with a guttural, jubilant chant after dispatching District 1’s Neshaminy, 77-70, in the quarterfinals of the PIAA 6A basketball playoffs.

“We not goin’ home! We not goin’ home! We not goin’ home!”

Lincoln, the top seed from District 12, advanced to face District 2’s top dog, Hazleton, which knocked off Abington, 94-86, on Saturday.

In the nearly packed gym at Ryan, Lincoln, and Neshaminy treated fans to an intense matchup marked by momentum swings.

The game itself wasn’t particularly well-played or aesthetically pleasing, and the pace was often interrupted by 46 combined fouls.

Several individual performances, however, overcame all of the whistles.

Lincoln senior forward Tyree Corbett, who transferred from Frankford in December, finished with 29 points and 20 rebounds.

Ten of the rebounds were at the offensive end.

Neshaminy guard Chris Arcidiacono finished with 35 points, shooting 6 of 14 from the field — including 2 of 5 three-point attempts — and hitting 21 of 23 free throws.

The senior, who scored 51 points in a double-overtime,  second-round thriller over Lower Merion on Wednesday, added 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

Neshaminy jumped out to an 8-2 lead before Lincoln (24-6) responded with a 14-2 run. Lincoln led, 17-15, at the end of the first quarter.

Lincoln appeared to seize control until its offense held the ball with about 5 minutes left in the half.

The Railsplitters, who can comfortably play a rotation of at least 10 players, held the ball, while Neshaminy, which plays six or seven players, rested in its zone defense.

Meanwhile, the Neshaminy crowd grew louder with each passing second.

Neshaminy (19-11) stayed in its zone, and Lincoln eventually fired a shot after about a minute of holding the ball. The Railsplitters got the offensive rebound, held the ball again, and eventually shot again.

Neshaminy got the rebound with 3:17 left, and Arcidiacono buried a three-pointer to give his team the lead. Teammate Charles Dominick (23 points, 7 of 11 from three) added a trey to give Neshaminy a 32-29 edge at the break.

Before the second half began, Lincoln was assessed a technical foul for dunking or hanging on the rim in the warmups. The technical was given to Jahi Randall, who already had two fouls. His replacement, Aseem Luckey, scored 8 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked a shot.

Corbett, a 6-5 forward, scored 13 points in the third quarter to help Lincoln take the lead, 57-50, after three quarters.

Oft-overlooked senior point guard Khalif Meares, one of several Railsplitters who hounded Arcidiacono up and down the court, made several plays in the fourth quarter. He  finished with 10 points, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 4 rebounds.

“Khalif is a great player,” said Lincoln coach Al Brown. “A lot of guys in the city have the name and the offers, but I feel as though Khalif is just as good as them. He’s definitely a Division I basketball player; it’s just people don’t really know about him.”

Brown’s defensive game plan for Arcidiacono was to wear him down, but the coach said it was difficult to stick with that strategy when the fouls started to mount.

Danny Bodine (9) and Cam Jeffers (3) were the only other Neshaminy players to score.

Eventually, it appeared Arcidiacono, who did everything for Neshaminy but park cars and sell candy, faded.

Lincoln            17    12    28    20  — 77
Neshaminy      15    19    16    20  — 70

L: Tyree Corbett 29, Shakeir Morrison 13, Khalif Meares 10, Emeul Charleston 9, Aseem Luckey 8, Sanhei Day 7, Jahi Randall 1.

N: Chris Arcidiacono 35, Charles Dominick 23, Danny Rollins 9, Cam Jeffers 3.