Crusaders Come Up Short In Semifinals

PEORIA-The Lutheran Crusaders have come up short of the State Finals once again in boys basketball. They lost to Lincoln 45-42 Friday afternoon in the 3A semifinals. Lutheran has never made the championship game in five trips to State.

The Crusaders had a one point lead in this one with under two minutes to play when Thomas Kopelman sank a three-pointer to make it 42-40. But Lincoln's Gavin Block answered with a three with 53 seconds remaining to put Lincoln on top for good at 43-42. The Crusaders turned the ball over twice after that, and a Kopelman desperation three at the buzzer was off target. The Crusaders were outscored 11-5 in the fourth quarter.

Turnovers were the Crusaders downfall. They had 15 of them to only five for Lincoln the state's top ranked team. The Crusaders were able to get off only 11 three point attemts in this game. They made five of them. Kopelman finished with 17 points. He made four of six three-point attempts. Nate Wieting added 10 points and 11 rebounds. Joe Kellen, who scored 31 points in the Super-Sectional, couldn't find his shot in Peoria. He missed all four of his three-point attempts.

Block led Lincoln with 16 points.

The Crusaders will take the court one final time in Peoria for the 3A Consolation Game Saturday at 12:15 p.m. That game can be seen on Rockford's MyNetwork TV (digital channel 17.2 over the air, Comcast and Charter Cable Channel 16, DirectTV Channel 18.)

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