Getting over the hump: Athletics clinch a trip to state

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Friday, March 9, 2018
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Getting over the hump: Athletics clinch a trip to state

By Rocky Hulne
Published 9:12 pm Friday, March 9, 2018

ROCHESTER — After two straight years of heartbreak, the top-seeded Lyle-Pacelli girls basketball team was able to get back to the top of Section 1A when it beat No. 2 Hayfield (25-5 overall) 75-63 to clinch a trip to the Minnesota Class A state tournament in Mayo Civic Center Friday.

The Athletics used a 14-2 run in the first half to go up 24-9 and Hayfield never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

It was a thrilling victory for the Athletics (29-1 overall) who saw their season end in the Section 1A West finals in losses to eventual state champ Goodhue in the past two years. Two years ago, LP had a big lead disappear in a crushing loss to the Wildcats and three years ago, LP had a lead disappear in the Class A state semifinals in a loss to eventual champ Ada-Borup.

This time, the Athletics had enough to hold on.

“This means more than anything in the world to us. We’ve been through so much heartbreak,” LP head coach Justin Morris said. “We had Ada-Borup beat and we had Goodhue beat two years ago. We felt like we should’ve been going to state in the last couple of years and they were so committed to making it a reality this year. They believed from the word go and the first practice. They believed they were a team of fate and at team of destiny.”

Brooke Walter had seven points, seven rebounds, six steals and nine assists for LP and Kristi Fett had 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

LP will open Class A state tournament play in Williams Arena Thursday.

Read more about the game here: Lyle-Pacelli girls hold off Vikings to advance to Class A State Tournament

Lyle-Pacelli’s Brooke Walter, from left, Kendal Truckenmiller and Abby Bollingberg embrace after the Athletics claimed the Section 1A title with a 75-63 win over Hayfield Friday night in Rochester. Eric Johnson/

The Lyle-Pacelli girls basketball team holds up the Section 1A championship trophy after they defeated Hayfield Friday night in Rochester. Eric Johnson/

Lyle-Pacelli’s Abby Bollingberg pulls up off the corner against Hayfield in the Section 1A championship Friday night in Rochester. Eric Johnson/