Lyle-Pacelli boys start fast and overpower Falcons to advance to section semifinals

Published 9:30 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

ROCHESTER – The No. 4 seeded Lyle-Pacelli boys basketball team started strong and stuck with it as the Athletics never trailed in a 72-52 win over No. 5 Fillmore Central in a Section 1A quarterfinal in Mayo Civic Center Monday.

L-P senior Buay Koak put up the best postseason performance of his career as he was a terror on both ends of the floor, tallying 28 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds, blocking four shots and handing out three assists.

“I think we just had the realization that this could be our last game. We usually come out flat, but in this environment, there is no reason to come out flat,” Koak said. “I like being that guy that the team can rely on, where they give it to you and clear out. I’m used to that role and you also have to be ready to pass if they collapse on you.”

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Koak hit back-to-back threes to give L-P a 44-29 lead with 16:33 left in the game, but the Falcons scored eight straight to get within 44-37 on a three-pointer by Bryce Corson.

L-P quickly answered with a 20-7 rally over the next 10 minutes to put the game away.

The Athletics (23-5 overall) came out with a ton of energy as they ran out to a 33-14 lead with Jake Truckenmiller hitting three three-pointers during that spurt.

“We usually have to come out in the second half with a run, but today we had a first half run,” L-P head coach Carl Truckenmiller said. “We know Fillmore. We played them last year and we played them a lot back in the youth days.”

The Athletics cooled off and had just four points over the final eight minutes of the half as the Falcons pulled to within 35-24 at the break.

FC (17-11 overall) was averaging over 70 points per game on the season, but L-P did its job on defense all night. The Athletics drew three charges in the first half and they were solid on getting back in transition defense.

“I don’t think our defense gets enough credit,” Carl Truckenmiller said. 

Nelson also started the game with a three, which loosened the mood for Jake Truckenmiller, who put up 18 points total.

“I was really excited to play here today. I’ve played in this gym a lot, but this is my first time winning here,” Jake Truckenmiller said. “Once Mac hit that first shot, the nerves all just went away and we knew we could do it.”

Mac Nelson finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for L-P.

L-P will now take on top-seeded Goodhue in the Section 1A semifinals in Mayo Auditorium at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Filmore Central 24  28  –  52

Lyle-Pacelli 35  37  –  72

LP scoring: Buay Koak, 28; Jake Truckenmiller, 18; Mac Nelson, 16; Landon Meyer, 7; Dylan Christianson, 2; David Christianson, 1