Lyle/Pacelli (4-seed, 22-5) got off to a strong start versus Fillmore Central (5-seed, 17-10). The Falcons never fully recovered and the Athletics prevailed in a 1A quarterfinal. FC was a bit jittery out of the gates, as #12 L/P got off to a 23-7 start. They were buoyed by Buay Koak, a 6’4” long-armed senior four-year starter, who blocked a couple early Falcon shots and scored 11 of L/P’s first 23 points. Senior teammate Jake Truckenmiller also nailed three first half three-pointers. L/P’s lead grew as large as 19 (33-14) in the first half. The Falcons cut into it by halftime, going to the break, down 11 (35-24). L/P had foul trouble to multiple starters and FC made some headway at the free throw line. The Falcons continued their push in the second half, closing to down six (46-40) early in the stanza courtesy of a Luke Hellickson three-point play. Bryce Corson added a couple early stanza threes, as FC hit six of their first 10 second half shots. But L/P responded with 14-2 run, as Truckenmiller hit two threes. FC shot 0 of 9 in the spree with their only points two Matt Marzolf free throws. All told, they had a pivotal 1 for 13 shooting stretch. The Athletics’ lead grew back to 18, 60-42. FC’s best season in a long time ended in the 1A quarters in a loss to the #12-ranked Athletics, 72-52. Fourth-year starting point guard Bryce Corson led the way in his last game (17 pts, 5-10 threes, 5 rebs). Junior wing Luke Hellickson (16 pts, 4-6 FTs, 7 rebs) also made double figures. Dillon
O’Connor (9 pts) and Jayce Kiehne (8 pts) helped. The latter was held well below his per-game average of 21-plus PPG. Koak (28 pts, 11-21 FGs, 4-5 threes, 9 rebs, 3 blks) keyed the L/P attack, including throwing down a lob dunk and a half-court baseline jam. Truckenmiller (18 pts, 5-9 threes) and Mac Nelson (16 pts, 10 rebs) gave the Athletics great balance. L/P out-shot FC 25 of 55 (45%) to 16 of 59 (27%) including 12 of 27 (44%) from deep to FC’s 9 of 34 (27%). The 52 points scored was the Falcons’ second lowest out-put of the year (47 versus LCH). They came in averaging about 70 points per game. The 27% from the field was a season-low. Brady O’Connor’s group finishes at 17-11, their most wins since 2008-2009 (also 17). The senior class has nine guys, starters Corson, O’Connor, and Will Parker, top reserves Gunner Benson and Jake Fishbaugher, plus Ty Sexton, Dawson Swartzentruber, Sam Springer, and Logan Stelpflug.
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