Athletics blow past Cleveland, move to semisPublished 9:34pm Thursday, February 21, 2013
Last year the Lyle-Pacelli girls basketball team was upset by Cleveland in the first round of the Section 1A West tournament.
On Thursday, the matchup was the same, but the possibility of another upset was erased within the first 10 minutes of the game as No. 3 seeded LP beat No. 6 Cleveland (9-15 overall) 66-23 in Pacelli Gym to advance to the West semifinals.
“We all wanted to get revenge,” said LP freshman forward Sarah Holtz, who finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. “Last year was a tough loss because we all thought were gonna go to Rochester and were gonna beat this team. This year we didn’t go in thinking we were gonna sweep through.”
LP (23-3 overall) put up a 37-5 run in the game’s first 11 minutes as their full court press put the Clipper offense in a tailspin. The Athletics forced 27 turnovers in the win.
“Our whole game is predicated on energy and pace,” LP assistant coach Justin Morris said. “We pushed the tempo forward and we pressured the basketball. I thought it would be difficult for them to stay with our athletes for 38 minutes.”
LP freshman Courtney Walter hit a 3-pointer to start the game and she finished with 15 points, five assists and seven steals.
She said the win shows how far the Athletics have come since falling to Cleveland in last year’s tournament.
“They’re pretty much the same team (as last year), but we work so much better as a team this year,” Walter said. “We work together as a family and everyone works together.”
LP will now advance to the Mayo Civic Auditorium for the second time in the past three years. The Athletics will take on No. 2 seeded Goodhue, which beat Randolph 67-43, on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
“They play a similar style to us. It’s gonna be key for us to keep our composure,” Morris said. “We didn’t keep our composure against Southland, which is a team similar to Goodhue. If we stay calm and take care of the basketball I think we can be competitive and that’s all you can ask for at this point in the season.”
Cleveland 12 11 — 23
LP 47 19 — 66
LP scoring: Sarah Holtz, 20; Courtney Walter, 15; Ann Rysavy, 11; Madison Truckenmiller, 6; Brooke Walter, 4; Kendal Truckenmiller, 4; Bethany Strouf, 4; Annie Holtz, 2; free throws 100 percent (2-for-2); rebounds: 35 (Holtz, 7; Madison Truckenmiller, 7); turnovers: 17