Defenders from Lyle/Pacelli foul Alden-Conger’s Ariel Keller from both sides. Keller earned five points, six steals and seven assists in the game. -- Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Athletics stop Knights

Published 9:31am Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Alden-Conger girls’ basketball team showed resiliency, rallying from double digit deficits twice to come within one possession of the lead midway through the second half, but Lyle/Pacelli held off the Knights to win 61-47.

Early in the first half, Alden-Conger took a 5-2 lead on a 3-pointer by senior point guard Ariel Keller. Lyle/Pacelli came back to take a 7-6 lead, and the game went back and forth until the Athletics built an 18-12 advantage.

Lyle/Pacelli forced turnovers with full court pressure to stretch its lead to 10 points (27-17) five minutes before halftime.

However, the Knights wouldn’t give up. Alden-Conger went on a 10-4 run headed into the locker room, capped off with a 3-pointer by junior forward Brittany Waters.

“When they were up by double digits, I was a little worried, but we’ve got a veteran team, and a lot of our girls have been there before,” Alden-Conger head coach Jennifer Hovendick said. “They’re a determined bunch of girls, so I wasn’t suprised when we came back.”

In the second half, two straight baskets by senior center Taylor Martin brought Alden-Conger within two points of the Lyle/Pacelli.

“She’s been our rock all year,” Hovendick said of Martin. “Her teammates are committed to helping her get the ball in a place where she can score.”

Martin led the Knights with a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Also stepping up for the Knights was Keller, Hovendick said.

“She played really hard the entire game,” she said. “She’s really the heart of the team, and we needed her energy.”

Brooke Reyerson added eight points and 10 rebounds.

However, the Athletics began to click on offense outscoring the Knights 15-2 in the final 10 minutes of the game.

The loss breaks Alden-Conger’s seven-game winning streak. The Knights are now 10-2 on the season.

Lyle/Pacelli improves to 11-1.

The two teams could meet later this year in the postseason.

“I’m excited to hopefully get another shot at them in subsections later this year,” Hovendick said. “They’ve got a nice team.”