In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Lyle/Pacelli Athletics girls basketball team played host to the LeRoy/Ostrander Cardinals in a Southeast Conference matchup at All Saints Arena at Pacelli Catholic Schoosl in Austin Thursday evening. The Athletics, who downed the Cardinals in LeRoy 65-31 on January 6th were looking for a regular-seasaon sweep of the series between the two squads, while LeRoy/Ostrander was looking for win number two in a row after rolling by United South Central 73-44 Monday evening. In a game that saw LeRoy/Ostrander jump out in front from the start, only to see Lyle/Pacelli attempt to rally back throughout, a crucial 14-5 second-half run by the Cardinals proved to be the difference in a 59-52 win.
LeRoy/Ostrander jumped out to an 18-4 lead in the first half, only to see Lyle/Pacelli rally back with a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 18-13. The Athletics crept as close as two points at 23-21 before the first half ended with the Cardinals leading 25-21, and LP kept their momentum moving forward at the start of the second half as a 3-pointer from guard Lexi Lewis knotted the game at 27 apiece, and the Athletics took their only lead of the game a short time later at 29-27 to cap off an 8-2 run. The game was tied at 32 when the Cardinals started what turned out to be the game-winning 14-5 run, keyed for the most part by the play of sophomore forward Benita Nolt, who continually drove the ball to the hoop and scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half while shooting nine of her 13 free-throws for the game in the second stanza. The Athletics would not go quietly, however, as they went on a 12-7 run of their own to cut the lead to 53-49 with 2:30 left to play, but LeRoy/Ostrander’s defense forced three turnovers in as many possessions down the stretch to hold off the Lyle/Pacelli comeback attempt for the win.
Lyle/Pacelli sophomore guard Kirsten Koopal led all scorers Thursday night with 23 points, while senior guard Olivia Heard tallied 13 points. Sophomore forward Morgan Klankowski scored seven of her nine points in the second half, and Lexi Lewis scored seven points, all in the second half. Senior forward Jordan Runde, the only senior on the LeRoy/Ostrander roster led the Cardinals in scoring with 19 points, Benita Nolt contributed 17 points, junior guard Jenna Olson drained four 3-pointers on her way to 14 points, Miranda Nagel chipped in four points, Maria Almarez-Holt scored three points and 8th grade guard Keira Lewison added a free throw for one point in the win.
With the win, LeRoy/Ostrander is now 4-16 overall on the season and 2-11 in the Southeast Conference, while Lyle/Pacelli is now 2-19 overall with the loss and 2-14 in the Southeast Conference. The Athletics return to action at home at 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning versus Southeast Conference West Division leader Grand Meadow, while the Cardinals are right back into action at home tonight versus Southland, with the varsity tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m.