What appeared to be a sure loss for Pacelli boys basketball turned into an impressive comeback victory.
Pacelli trailed by 11 points with about 90 seconds left and scored the next 12 points to beat host Wausau West 45-44 in the first day of the Turkey Shoot.
Isaac Elliott hit two free-throws with 0.8 seconds left to cap the rally.
“I’m proud of the way these boys kept their composure and never gave up,” Pacelli coach Brad Rutta said. “Down by nine with a minute left and we continued to compete until the buzzer.”
West led 44-33 after a fastbreak basket by Mason Bednarski with 1:33 remaining. But Pacelli got a layup by Tyus Groos, back-to-back 3-pointers from Brett O’Sullivan and Elliott to cut the lead to three with 33 seconds left. After West missed the second of two front ends of a bonus free-throw situation, O’Sullivan and Elliott hit two free throws apiece to close out the rally.
West put together an impressive run earlier in the half to put themselves in a position to win. The Warriors rebounded from a four-point deficit late in the third with a 17-2 run to go up by 11.
O’Sullivan led all scorers with 24 points while Groos added nine.
“Brett O’Sullivan played outstanding tonight, inside and out offensive, and carried us on the glass,” Rutta said. “We couldn’t be prouder of his effort.”
Taylor Penn scored 12 of his game-high 14 points in the first half for West, which fell to 0-2 overall.
Pacelli (45): Tyus Groos 9, Chris Shibilski 1, Isaac Elliott 5, Brett O’Sullivan 24, Colin Jamison 6.
West (44): Kyle Nickel 2, Carson Weber 4, David Seamon 5, Jacob Raeder 5, Joe Utecht 4, Taylor Penn 14, Andy Yang 4, Mason Bednarski 6.
Free-throws: Pacelli 10-14; West 2-4. 3-point field goals: Pacelli 6 (Jamison 2, O’Sullivan 2, Groos, I. Elliott); West 4 (Penn 2, Seamon, Raeder).