Pacific Turns Back Sullivan In Semifinals
With Pacific clinging to a lead in the final minutes of Tuesday’s Class 4 District 6 semifinal against Sullivan, it wasn’t Cameron VanLeer who closed the Eagles out.
Instead, the Indians turned to Trey Boyer.
Pacific’s senior guard scored six straight points, taking over the game and leading the top-seeded Indians to a 49-43 win over Sullivan.
The Eagles (14-13) held VanLeer, averaging 20 points and nine rebounds per game, to just nine points on 3-11 shooting.
But Boyer filled the void, dropping in 17 points and hitting six of eight shots.
Sullivan was denied entry to the district championship game for the second straight season, but they gave Pacific all they could handle and then some.
Moving at a deliberate pace, hoping to make every possession count, the Eagles attempted just 24 shots, but connected on 14. They were a perfect 10-10 at the free throw line and shot an acceptable 38 percent beyond the arc.
Sullivan’s shooting inside the arc sometimes didn’t match their blistering 3-point shooting this season, but against a stingy Pacific defense, the Eagles were 9-11 on two-pointers.
Cody McKinney scored 15 points, worked over Pacific with penetration and some nifty post moves and kept the offense humming despite the Indians trailing him all over the court.
Caleb Todd scored 11 points in what turned out to be his final high school game. Austin Frye and Austin Lewis had five points, each coming up with big 3-pointers. Jacob Rohrer had four and Landon Hoffman three.
Unlike their first meeting Feb. 16 — a runway victory for Pacific — Sullivan didn’t fade after the first quarter. The Eagles led 14-11 after one period. McKinney scored off an inbound with 51 seconds left, then Rohrer drove his way into the lane for a basket with time expiring.
Sullivan increased the lead to 18-11 with 5:03 left in the second quarter after a McKinney bucket. Pacific called a timeout and it took until Boyer’s jumper from the elbow at the 2:55 mark that they finally scored.
Trailing 20-13, Boyer scored inside, then converted a three-point play when he was knocked to the floor on a jump shot. VanLeer’s 3-pointer with 52 seconds helped Pacific regain the lead with an 8-0 run. Todd’s drive on the next trip down tipped the lead back to the Eagles.
Pacific missed an opportunity to go ahead at the buzzer when McKinney stripped Tom Hennessy in the post, preserving a 22-21 Sullivan lead.
In the third quarter, Lewis nailed a 3-pointer to put the Eagles up 27-23, but Pacific rallied back with another 8-0 run. The Indians took advantage of two straight Sullivan turnovers, getting a 3-pointer from Matt Strong and a basket by VanLeer to go up 31-27.
Sullivan tied the game with a pair of free throws by McKinney with 53 seconds to go, but Hennessy was fouled on the next possession and his freebies put the Indians back on top.
Pacific increased the lead to 39-33 with 5:45 to go. Hoffman revived Sullivan with a 3-pointer and Lewis had two free throws to get Sullivan within one.
Boyer was fouled to make it 41-38, then he scored perhaps the biggest bucket of the game with 1:56 remaining, giving Pacific a two-possession lead. Sullivan fouled Boyer with 58 seconds and he converted both chances to dim the Eagles’ season.