Lyle/Pacelli rallies from early deficit to upend Houston 63-56 in Section 1A boys basketball playoffs

Buay Koak scored 15 of his 24 points in the first half and Zach Bollingberg drained five 3-point field goals on his way to 21 points as the Lyle/Pacelli Athletics, the No. 6 seed in the Section 1A boys basketball tournament rallied from an early deficit to defeat the 11th-seeded Houston Hurricanes 63-57 at All Saints Arena at Pacelli High School Thursday evening.

Houston sprinted out to a 9-0 lead, but after an Athletics time out, two 3’s for Bollingberg, a steal and a basket for Sam Nelson and a shot from the right block by Mach Diang with the right hand helped LP go on a 14-5 run to tie the game at 14 apiece.  A layup for Koak after a Houston timeout gave the Athletics their first lead at 16-14, and after two free throws for the Hurricanes tied the game at 16,  Koak brought the house down with a tip slam off of a missed three from the left corner to give LP an 18-16 lead.  A layup for Jed Nelson helped the Athletics to a 23-20 lead, and three 3-pointers for Koak keyed a 10-3 LP run at the end of the half to give the Athletics a 33-23 lead at the break.

Lyle/Pacelli came out ready to roll to start the second half as three more 3-pointers for Bollingberg, plus another three from Koak boosted the Athletics’ lead to as large as 16 at 45-29, but the Hurricanes charged back with a 7-0 run of their own to cut the LP lead to 45-36.  Houston eventually edged their way as close as six at 56-50 late in the game, but they would get no closer as crisp ball movement by Lyle/Pacelli in their half-court sets and Bollingberg going 4 for 5 at the free throw line down the stretch helped to seal the win.

Besides Koak’s 24 points and Bollingberg’s 21, Jed Nelson added eight points in the winning effort, Mach Diang chipped in six points and Tyson Anderson and Sam Nelson each netted two points.  Alex Van Gundy led Houston in scoring with 24 points as the Hurricanes end their season with a record of 14-13.

With the win, Lyle/Pacelli moves to 19-7 on the season, and they will be back in action next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Section 1A quarterfinals at the Mayo Civic Auditorium in Rochester against Randolph.  The third-seeded Rockets downed 14th-seeded Kingsland Thursday night 69-42.  The first game at the Auditorium next Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. will pit No. 2 seed Hayfield against No. 7 Rushford-Peterson.  The Vikings defeated 15 seed Fillmore Central 89-57, while the Trojans knocked out 10th-seeded Wabasha-Kellogg Thursday night 59-49.