Lyle/Pacelli Athletics girls basketball team rallies in second half to down LeRoy/Ostrander 51-49 in Section 1A playoffs Tuesday evening

In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS Tuesday evening, the Lyle/Pacelli Athletics girls basketball team, the No. 17 seed in the Section 1A tournament traveled to No. 16 seed LeRoy/Ostrander for a first-round matchup, and while the Cardinals had swept the regular season series from the Athletics, LP was able to rally in the second half to win the all-important third game of the season between the two squads 51-49 to move into the tournament’s second round.

Lyle/Pacelli led by scores of 10-7 and 13-10 in the first half, but the Cardinals, led by forward Miranda Nagel’s 14 first-half points were able to put together a 13-5 run to take a 20-15 lead, and they led 24-19 at the half.  The Cardinals were able to push their lead to eight points early the second half at 27-19 before the Athletics rallied with a 16-5 run of their own to take a 35-29 lead.  LeRoy/Ostrander took the lead back at 44-43, but the Athletics again had an answer offensively, as a 3-pointer from Lexi Lewis, and three free throws and a basket from forward Madi Klankowski help Lyle/Pacelli take the lead for good with an 8-0 run to make the score 51-44 late in the second half.  The Cardinals, despite nine second half turnovers were able to close the gap to two points at 51-49, but two shot attempts from Nagel in the closing seconds did not fall, and the Athletics were able to hang on for the win.

Junior guard Kirsten Koopal led the Athletics offensively Tuesday evening with 17 points, nine of them in the second half, Lewis wound up scoring 10 of her 15 points in the second half, Klankowski scored nine of her 11 points in the second stanza, Autumn Drennan tallied four points, and Liz Frederick added two points.  For LeRoy/Ostrander, the loss spoiled a monster game from Nagel, who wound up with 26 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocked shots.

With the win, Lyle/Pacelli is now 2-25 on the season, and the Athletics will now face Goodhue, the No. 1 seed in the tournament and the No. 1 team in the state in Class A in the latest poll in the tournament’s second round, with tip-off in Goodhue at 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening.

LeRoy/Ostrander wraps up the 2023-2024 season with a record of 3-23.