The Regional Radio Top 10 Broadcast Games countdown continues with a thrilling finish to a classic district basketball championship.
The #6 Broadcast Game of the Year for 2019-2020 is the Class 3 District 3 boys’ basketball championship game, where the St. Pius Lancers defeated the Steelville Cardinals 45-44.
Both teams came in seeking their first district title in over a decade, but it was Steelville who got the fast start.
The Cardinals closed a tightly-competitive first quarter with a spurt to lead 16-9.
Despite playing through 3 first-half fouls, Lancers senior forward Riley Naeger still scored 7 points in the first quarter.
When Naeger sat for much of the second quarter, St. Pius still rallied and only trailed 20-19 at halftime.
Another senior, Eli Boyer, stepped up when the second half started and gave the Lancers their first lead.
The Boyer triple started a 11-2 run that gave St. Pius its largest lead at 30-22.
But Steelville answered right back, ending the third quarter behind junior guard Chase Cottrell to take the lead.
The Cardinals added a 8-3 spurt to start the fourth quarter and had their largest lead of the night.
But St. Pius would storm right back to set up the epic conclusion.
The Lancers scored the next 8 points, even if it only meant a brief lead.
Despite getting back in it, St. Pius still found themselves down one in the final 20 seconds.
After head coach Chris Miller called timeout with the Lancers in possession in the half-court, an unlikely hero emerged.
Junior forward Michael Bollinger made an all-time play before an all-time play that wasn’t.
Bollinger finished with 7 of his 8 points in the fourth quarter, starting in place of injured senior Josh Ruble.
Boyer’s 14 points were a team high.
Cottrell finished with a game-high 17 points, while Tanner Diaz added 16 points.
Both Diaz and Naeger would go on to be named to the Regional Radio Dream Team.
Steelville finished with a record of 24-3, seeing a 17-game winning streak snapped short of a championship, while St. Pius would improve to 21-7 before losing an equally thrilling game to the Ava Bears in the Class 3 state sectionals.
To hear the full game broadcast, click play below.