Pacelli Boys Defeat Green Bay NEW Lutheran
Pacelli Overcomes Slow Start and Final GB NEW Lutheran Rush in Win
By Ken McKenzie
The Pacelli Boys hoops squad overcame a slow start Saturday but recovered strongly to take a big lead and then hung on to edge the visiting Blazers of Green Bay NEW Lutheran, 69-61.
Cardinals’ Coach Brad Rutta was enthusiastic in Saturday’s win at the 43rd annual Sentry Classic event.
“I love this tournament,” Rutta said. “This is the one time a year when people can come out and see all their local teams at the same place. It’s great fun and our team has grown to love this. You try to play well and then have to come right out and play again with the back to back games giving it that tournament feel.”
The opening day Sentry Classic tussle saw the GB NEW Lutheran team go up 8-3 with James Gollon managing three free throws until finally scoring on a drive inside the three minute mark. The Blazers’ Tanner Natzke hit for 12 points in the opening frame sparking his team to 13-5 margin before Troy Flugaur hit a runner, Gabe Lloyd added a three point play and Pacelli’s lead scorer James Gollon elevated for a jumper near the top of the key to close to 13-12 after eight minutes.
In the second frame, Gollon settled in as he tallied 15 points in taking the Cardinals to a 30-26 halftime lead. Gollon’s drive on the right side at 5:48 tied the game with Troy Fluguar hitting a trey to give Pacelli the lead they would never relinquish. Gollon hit a pair of baskets and five of seven free throws in the chase to the half and was to go on to lead the Pacelli scoring with 35 points.
Pacelli opened with the first seven points in the third to open up an 11 point lead as Gollon scored in transition on a fast break, Jake Elliott added a trey and Lloyd added a rebound hoop before Noah Gosse scored for the Blazers. Elliott hit a pair of free throws and Chris Shibilski banked in a jumper off the glass and Gollon scored again on a breakout pass from Elliott and hit another jumper with just over a minute remaining in the half as the Cardinals went to the locker room leading 45-33.
The second half continued what proved to be a bit of a foul fest with the Blazers whistled for 19 fouls and Pacelli adding another ten on top of the combined 24 whistled calls in the opening half. Pacelli outscored the Green Bay area team 15-7 in the third frame with Gollon netting six of those and Jake Elliott adding five.
With 6:01 to play in the game, Gollon added a three point play to push the margin to 22 points but GB NEW Lutheran quickly answered with nine points with Chris Shibilski’s rebound basket around the four minute mark pushing the lead back to 18 before two quick fouls within about a twenty second stretch retired Gollon for the night as he fouled out just inside the three minute mark. The Blazers made a contest of it down the final stretch, outscoring the Cardinals 28-24 in the final frame, while Pacelli managed just seven of 14 free throws as NEW Lutheran edged ever closer with Pacelli finally exhaling with the 69-61 victory.
Pacelli will play at 5:15 p.m. Monday against Elk Mound in game 15 of the 2014 Sentry Classic.