The last time Lake City played away from Lincoln High School was in the regular season finale against Kasson-Mantorville. On Monday in the Section 1AA boys’ basketball semifinals, the Tigers made a return trip to Kasson, but this time were up against Class AA No. 3-ranked Stewartville with a trip to the section championship on the line.

The matchup between the two Tiger teams was a back-and-forth battle from the opening tipoff until the final buzzer as neither team led by more than eight points. Every time a run would begin, the opposing team would have a quick response to stem the momentum. In the end though, Stewartville did just enough to fend off Lake City en route to a 62-56 win.

In the first half, Lake City did the majority of its damage from distance as it scored 24 of its 32 points on 3-pointers. No one specific shooter was better than another in that first half as Lake City had four score six or more points.

Despite the hot team shooting in the first 18 minutes, Lake City still found itself trailing by two points at halftime. That was almost entirely due to University of Michigan commit Will Tschetter carrying Stewartville throughout the game. Tschetter scored 12 points before any of his teammates and finished the half with 19 points.

No matter the immense talent that Tschetter continued to put on display, Lake City wasn’t backing down. Once the second half began, Justin Wohlers found another gear and went on a scoring tear, putting in nine points in the first four minutes to give Lake City a 45-42 lead. He didn’t let up either, scoring more than anyone else in the second half with 16 points.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Wohlers’ second-half heroics weren’t enough to slow down Tschetter and company though. Once Stewartville reclaimed the lead two minutes later, it maintained it the rest of the way.

Tschetter finished the night with a game-high 34 points, while Wohlers put in 22 points.

Jaden Shones was the next leading scorer for Lake City with 11 points, followed by teammates Carson Matzke (8), Hunter Lorenson (6), Keegan Ryan (6) and Zach Dather (3).

Lake City finishes its season with a 13-6 record but plenty of optimism for the future as none of its starting five graduate this year.