Column: The time is now for Lyle/Pacelli boys basketball team

Published 11:17 pm Monday, March 1, 2010

It seems like this has been years in the making.

For the past few seasons, the Lyle/Pacelli boys basketball team has gotten solid play from guard Cody Meyer and center Brady Stier and the two 1,000-point scorers are now in their last hurrah as seniors.

L/P’s accomplishments have gradually improved, from having solid regular seasons to winning a playoff game and playing in the subsection semifinals in Rochester last season.

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But it is this postseason that will define the No. 2 seeded Athletics – who are riding a 13-game winning streak while they prepare to host the winner of Alden/Conger and Medford this Thursday in Pacelli gym at 7 p.m.

Since dropping four of five contests in late December and early January, the Athletics have been an unstoppable force, winning 12 of their 13 straight wins by at least 10 points.

The signature win was a 63-50 triumph over Spring Grove, which had L/P’s number over the past few years.

Now the Athletics must put all of that regular season success and focus on winning the games that count.

If their defense can force turnovers and turn their playoff run into a track meet, the Athletics should cruise. But if it has to play at a slow-down pace, L/P will have to find ways to feed Stier in the paint and run everything around him.

Last season, Stier showed how big he can play in important games when he put in 26 points and 17 boards in a season-ending loss to Goodhue in the subsection semifinals.

This time around, I think he has more help. Meyer has matured as a guard and has learned when to slow the game down, junior Kyle Pereault has given the Athletics a steady point guard this season and Michael Lonergan catch fire at any time.

The biggest thing will be if role players can down open shots as Stier should create some open space.

Do that, and this could be postseason to remember.