Photo By: Shirley Pefley/Special to the Town Crier
St. Francis High guard Mike Lauck scored 19 points Saturday.
Minutes after the St. Francis High boys basketball team rallied for a 65-54 win over Aragon in the Central Coast Section Division II quarterfinals, coach Mike Motil wasn’t even sure how his Lancers did it.
“I really don’t know, to be honest with you, what happened,” he said. “I’ll have to go back and watch the film.”
That film will show No. 3 St. Francis (10-16) making big shot after big shot to overcome a seven-point deficit late in the third quarter of Saturday’s game.
It started with Khalid Johnson’s pullup jumper inside the key that cut No. 6 Aragon’s lead to 44-39 with four seconds left in the period. The senior guard totaled 15 points.
Johnson’s twin brother, Khalil, opened the fourth with a top-of-the-key 3, narrowing Aragon’s advantage to two points.
That ignited an 18-4 St. Francis run that included two 3s and a putback by Mike Lauck. The senior guard tallied a game-high 19 points.
“Mike Lauck did a great job,” Motil said. “He made five 3s tonight and took their second-best offensive weapon out of the game.”
That player, sharpshooter Nick Frankel, finished with 11 points for Aragon (19-7). He made just one shot from 3-point range.
The Dons went nearly five minutes without a basket in the final quarter, and the Lancers raced past them during this stretch. Khalil Johnson’s layin off a steal gave St. Francis the lead at 49-48 with 4:55 remaining.
The Lancers stayed ahead the rest of the way, building a nine-point advantage with 2:31 to go.
St. Francis made six of eight free throws in the final minute – four by Nicholas Keyes – to keep Aragon at bay.
“We just fought, and I’m really proud of the guys and the effort they gave,” Motil said.
St. Francis was slated to face No. 2 Leigh (21-7) in Tuesday’s semifinals, played after the Town Crier’s press deadline. The winner advances to Friday’s title game, set for 8 p.m. at Santa Clara High.