LINCOLN–(KFOR Dec. 12)–Even without Nebraska recruit Donovan Williams, the Lincoln North Star boys basketball team manages to find a way to fill his role as he recovers from a knee injury.

The Navigators have relied heavily on 6-3 junior guard Kwat Abdelkarim, who scored 29 points, to help Class A No. 7 North Star to a 69-58 win over Lincoln High Thursday night at the Earl Johnson Gym, in a game heard on KFOR.

An 11-0 opening spurt for the Gators (3-0) led to a 19-1 first quarter lead and a 21-5 advantage entering the second quarter. Luke Juracek scored and hit a pair of free throws to give North Star a 35-24 halftime lead.

Lincoln High (0-3) chipped away in the second half, where Livon Ramsey’s steal lead to a Simon Perkins basket to pull the Links to within seven, 45-38 in the third quarter. North Star extended the lead back to 51-40 when Abdelkarim scored with one second left in the period.

The Links responded in the fourth quarter, got as close as 55-49 with 5:23 remaining, when Tre Dixon hit a three-pointer. Then North Star took control the rest of the game and got off to a 6-0 run after a timeout on three straight layups from Abdelkarim.

Jaxson Barber led Lincoln High in the loss with 18 points.