Randolph outlasts Athletics

Published 10:04 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2020

ROCHESTER — The No. 6 seeded Lyle-Pacelli boys basketball team started fast, but ran out of gas as it lost to No. 3 Randolph 68-57 in the Section 1A quarterfinals in Mayo Civic Center Wednesday.

The Athletics (19-8 overall) led by as many as nine in the first half and they took a 33-32 lead on a Zach Bollingberg score early in the second half, but the Rockets (22-6 overall) answered with an 8-1 spurt to take and maintain the lead.

“We just got stagnant on offense and we didn’t do a good job of moving the basketball and taking gaps,” LP head coach Scott Koenigs said. “On defense we gave up too many second shots and they’re a big and athletic team.”

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Guard Cole Walter hadn’t played in nearly a month for the Athletics due to a medical condition, but after recently being cleared to play, Walter hit four threes and scored 14 points in the first half for L-P.

Walter finished with 22 points as he hit six threes and dished out three assists, while grabbing four rebounds.

The Athletics led 20-11 with 8:30 left in the first half, but the Rockets closed the half on a 19-6 run. Devon Schultz and Nick Drinken each hit threes in the final minute of the half for the Rockets.

Walter scored 22 points in an 81-62 win over Madelia in his last game for the Athletics on Feb. 9. Walter was glad to be back on the court Wednesday, but it was tough for him to miss so much time in February.

“All my teammates were helping me along,” Walter said. “It was hard not being out there with my brothers and it was really hard sitting on the sideline.”

The Athletics will bring back most of their team next year as they will look to contend for a state berth.

“We’re going to be really good. This was a stepping stone this year,” Koenigs said. “It’s unfortunate because we felt we had the team this year to win the section.”

Lyle-Pacelli 26 31  –  57

Randolph 30 38  –  68

LP scoring: Cole Walter, 22; Buay Koak, 10; Jed Nelson, 9; Sam Nelsen, 7; Zach Bollingebrg, 5; Mach Diang, 4; free throws: 70 percent (7-for-10)