Boys basketball: Lyons advances in 2A state tournament with close win over Byers

STERLING — The Lyons boys basketball coaches didn’t want to jinx themselves by booking a hotel room ahead of Friday night’s Class 2A playoff game against Byers in Sterling. Now the Lions will be making the drive to the Eastern Plains two days in a row.

Not that they mind.

After a four-win regular season, the Lions kept their postseason roll going with a 53-51 victory over Byers at Northeastern Junior College.

“It’s a giant win for us,” Lyons coach Travis Crispe said in a phone interview from the team bus as the Lions made their way home.

Lyons (7-16) — which finished in district play last week to advance — led down the stretch Friday. But the Lions were never comfortable until Justin Boldt made two free throws in the final seconds to put his team up 53-49. Byers’ final bucket came with one-tenth of a second remaining in the game.

“Byers would just never let us get a way,” Crispe said. “We were just able to hold them off.”

Boldt led the way with 16 points, while Jayse Long and James Hinker scored 12 apiece for the Lions, who will face Wiggins back in Sterling at 2:30 p.m. today for a shot at next week’s state quarterfinals.

Lyons 53, Byers 51

At Northeastern JC

LYONS (7-16)

Long 5 1-2 12, Campbell 2 1-5 6, Christiansen 0 0-0 0, Test 0 1-2 1, Boldt 7 2-3 16, Hinker 5 2-4 12, Leeuwenburgh 2 0-0 6, Dick 0 0-0 0, Falce 0 0-0 0. Totals

Score by quarters:

Byers 16 13 3 19 — 51

Lyons 16 14 6 17 — 53

3-point field goals — Byers (5); Lyons (4): Leeuenburgh 2, Long, Campbell. Total fouls — Byers 20, Lyons 19. Fouled out — Leeuwenburgh. Technicals — None.