Athletics move on to subsection semifinals with win over Alden/Conger

Published 11:09 pm Thursday, March 4, 2010

It certainly wasn’t a cakewalk, but the Lyle/Pacelli boys basketball team is moving on in the Subsection 1A West semifinals against Faribault Bethlehem Academy next Monday.

The No. 2 seeded Athletics overcame a tough start to close out a 75-62 win over No. 7 Alden/Conger in Pacelli Gym Tuesday.

After trailing by two early in the second half, the Athletics (19-5 overall) rode the play of their senoir center Brady Stier, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds, to pull away.

“The wings were playing really tight at the beginning of the game and the more we fed it to Brady, the more they crashed down on him and it opened up the outside for us,” said L/P guard Michael Lonergan, who had 10 points, three assists and six rebounds. “He’s a dominant force and he really helps us.”

With the defense sagging on Stier, Lonergan converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound to make it 55-48 and he drilled a mid-range jumper to make it 65-56 with 4:33 left in the game.

“It was time to step up and I knocked them down,” he said.

The first half saw both teams hit with foul trouble as 28 fouls were called and A/C (8-14 overall) shot 23 free throws while L/P shot 17 free throws.

“You could tell that we hadn’t played in nine days,” L/P head coach Reid Olson said. “There was a lot of ugliness on both ends of the floor (in the first half) and with a lot of whistles, it was tough to stay focused. At halftime we talked about not being frustrated and coming out to play.”

While Stier and Cody Meyer, who had 14 points, three rebounds and three assists, sat out with foul trouble in the first half, the role players stepped up for L/P.

Ryan Rust had 12 points and eight rebounds on the night.

“Ryan Rust did an outstanding job tonight. He gave us the toughness that we expect out of everybody and he kept us in the game,” Olson said. “We saw a lot of good things out of a lot of people. We talked about everybody embracing their role in this postseason and doing their job.”

Rust wasn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint.

“We’ve got to be physical and we’ve got to come out and be ready to play,” he said. “Tonight we came out slow but we came together in the end and closed it out.”

The Athletics will take on F.B.A. (11-14 overall) Monday at Rochester Auditorium at 8:30 p.m.

“When we play to our ability we’re pretty tough to beat,” Lonergan said. “Playing in Rochester is a different atmosphere, but it’s exciting.”

A/C 33 29 — 62

L/P 32 43 — 75

L/P scoring: Brady Stier, 24; Cody Meyer, 14; Ryan Rust, 12; Michael Lonergan, 10; Kyle Pereault, 6; Skylar Meyer, 5; Michael Bergstrom, 2; Colton Scherer, 2; free throws: 58 percent (23-for-40); rebounds: 32 (Stier, 11); turnovers: 14

A/C scoring: Travis Marth, 21; Brandon McTague, 10; Lucas Klienschrodt, 8; Tyler Adix, 8; Michael Reyerson, 7; Spencer Niebuhr, 5; Matt Jensen, 3; free throws: 60 percent (19-for-32); rebounds: 45 (Adix, 10); turnovers: 31