Athletics boys top F.B.A. to advance to subsection final on Saturday

Published 11:54 pm Monday, March 8, 2010

ROCHESTER — Usually offenses like to go inside early and then kick it out for the perimeter shot.

The Athletics worked that equation backwards but it led to a 53-37 win over Faribault Bethlehem Academy (11-15 overall) in the Section 1A West Division boys basketball semifinals Monday in Mayo Civic Center Auditorium.

After playing mostly from the perimeter in the first half, No. 2 seeded Lyle/Pacelli (20-5 overall) opened the second half with a 27-8 run that was triggered by a pair of Michael Lonergan threes to turn a low scoring affair into a lopsided victory for the Athletics.

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L/P hit seven threes on the night and Cody Meyer hit two deep shots in the first half, that saw L/P take a 20-19 lead to the break.

“When we started making our outside shots that opened up the inside game for Brady (Stier),” Meyer, who had 15 points and nine rebounds, said. “Then they switched to man defense and we totally took over. We had more size and ability against their man to man defense.”

Stier, who finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, poured in 15 points in the second half, even hitting a three of his own to make it 43-27 with 9:44 left in the game.

L/P head coach was pleased with the inside play of Stier in the second half, but hopes it doesn’t take so long to establish him inside when L/P plays No. 1 Goodhue in the Section 1A West Division finals Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Mayo Civic Center Arena.

“We can’t be a team that’s going to rely on jump shots,” Olson said. “We’ve got to go inside-out and we’ve got to get (Stier) to be stronger inside. In the second half, he made some good moves and we had a much better offensive flow.”

Neither team scored in the first five minutes of the game and L/P’s first field goal didn’t come until almost seven minutes into the game. Meyer broke the ice by throwing down a two-handed dunk off an alley-oop pass from Kyle Pereault, who was at the top of the key, to make it 3-3 early on.

“Everybody got the nerves out of their system (early). First we kind of felt it out a little and then we just got back to playing ball,” Meyer said. “B.A. has a rich tradition and they know what they’re doing. We knew we’d have to play real hard tonight.”

L/P already played Goodhue (15-10 overall) once this season and the Athletics dropped a 57-36 decision Dec. 21 without Meyer and Pereault playing in his first game of the season after an injury.

“It’s going to be a tough task Saturday. Goodhue’s aggressive and physical,” Olson said. “They push the tempo and we’ve got to get back on defense.”

Meyer said the Athletics are ready to leave it all on the court.

“There’s no regrets. We’re just giving it all out for one last shot,” he said.

The win was L/P’s 14th consecutive victory.

FBA 19 18 — 37

LP 20 33 — 53

L/P scoring: Brady Stier, 20; Cody Meyer, 15; Michael Lonergan, 9; Skylar Meyer, 4; Colton Scherer, 2; Ryan Rust, 2; Carter Guthmiller, 1; free throws: 50 percent (16-for-32); rebounds: 32 (Meyer, 9; Stier, 8); turnovers: 16

FBA scoring: Jordan Clark, 13; Tim Angell, 7; Kyle Filzen, 4; Anthony Caron, 3; Kyle Hatfield, 3; Michael Olson, 2; Dominic Trnka, 2; Kirk Allen, 1; free throws: 44 percent (16-for-36); rebounds: 28 (Angell, 10); turnovers: 21