Senior Bailey Ruen drives to the hoop against Faribault Bethlehem Academy in first playoff game last Wednesday, Feb. 21. The Burros pulled out the win, 34-32.
Senior Bailey Ruen drives to the hoop against Faribault Bethlehem Academy in first playoff game last Wednesday, Feb. 21. The Burros pulled out the win, 34-32. KRISTI RUEN/NEWS LEADER

The Lanesboro girls basketball team ended a rebuilding season with a win and a loss in the final two games of the winter campaign last week. The No. 16 seeded Burros beat No. 17 Bethlehem Academy in a play-in game on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Lanesboro, 34-32, withstanding a second-half Cardinal comeback to get the win. The game had been postponed one night because of snow and icy roads.

The next night, the Burros had the unenviable task of heading to Lyle/Pacelli to face the Section 1A No. 1-seeded Athletics, who are also the state’s No. 1 ranked team in Class A. The A’s held serve comfortably on their home floor, beating Lanesboro, 64-21. The Burros end their season at 5-20 overall (2-11 SEC).

Win vs. BA, 34-32

The Lanesboro girls opened the Section 1A Tournament 24 hours later than originally scheduled. The matchup with the Cardinals was supposed to be on Tuesday, but winter weather and Mother Nature combined to say “no.” The game was played on Wednesday night in Lanesboro, where the Burros played their final home game of the season.

The Burro girls held a first-half lead before holding off a frantic Cardinal comeback to pull out a two-point win. No. 16 seed LHS held a 16-8 lead at halftime. No. 17 BA (2-24) finally got the offense got going in the second half, outscoring Lanesboro 24-18 but still finished two points short.

Junior guard Emily Snyder carried the load offensively for the Burros, producing exactly half of the team’s total offensive output. Snyder had 17 points, the only Burro in double figures while completing a double-double with 13 rebounds (four steals, two assists).

Bailey Ruen added five points with four points each from Payton Benson and Sophie Pieper.

Lanesboro finished the night 13 of 52 from the field (25%), which included 0 for 8 from three-point land. They were also 8 of 16 from the free throw line (Snyder three for five).

One of the biggest improvements for LHS in the statistics was turnovers, which have been a challenge for the Burros all season. The Lanesboro girls only turned the ball over nine times all night against Bethlehem Academy.

The Burros also came up with 10 steals defensively, including two from Sophia Simes.

Lanesboro pulled down 31 rebounds, 13 coming on the offensive end. Lexie Johnson and Josie Semmen each grabbed five rebounds for Lanesboro.

 Lost at L/P 64-21

Because of the one-day weather delay, the second-round game was held the very next night. It was a quick turnaround, in addition to a tough matchup, at No. 1 in Class A Lyle/Pacelli. The Athletics (26-1) prevailed on their home court against their conference foes, winning the game 64-21.

It was already an emotional night for three Athletic seniors, who played the final game of their careers at the gym in Lyle, where the A’s have lost only one game in the last six years.

Six-foot-five senior Kristi Fett had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while getting three blocked shots.

Olivia Christianson was the top scorer with 19 points (four rebounds, five assists, four steals), and Abby Bollingberg added 11 points (six rebounds, four assists).

Those talented A’s just happen to play for the Section 1A coach of the year in Justin Morris. Assistant coach Brad Walter was chosen as the Section 1A assistant coach of the year as well.

The suspense was out of the game early. Lyle/Pacelli raced out to a 16-0 lead and held a 40-10 halftime advantage. The second half was closer as the A’s cleared the bench and rested their starters, still outscoring the Burros 24-11 and winning their 26th game of the season, including a previous 60-13 victory at Lanesboro.

It was a quiet night for the Lanesboro offense, which only sank nine field goals, two of which were outside the three-point line. Snyder led the Burros with nine points with Johnson and Benson adding three points each.

The Athletics moved on to face the No. 8 seed Kingsland Knights at the Rochester Civic Arena as this issue went to press on Tuesday, Feb. 27.