USC, which ended up 3 of 25 from beyond the arc, made one last charge to close within 62-59 on Trio’s 3-pointer and Pederson’s driving basket off a turnover. However, two foul shots each from Brody Larson and Taylor Larson in the final minute ended the Rebels’ bid for their first state tournament appearance.
Minnick finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Kinzler and Brody Larson scored 11 points apiece.
“We really attacked the basket in the first half but for some reason we kind of let up in the second half,” Kloos said. “We started to make a run at the end but we just couldn’t pull through.”
USC, which played without injured senior post Steve Voigt, connected on just 20 of 64 from the field for 31.2 percent compared to the Falcons’ 21 of 50 for 42 percent. ACGC (21-7) held a slight 38-37 rebounding edge and both team committed 13 turnovers. The Falcons made 22 of 31 foul shots and USC drained 17 of 19.
“We thought we had it down the stretch but we had some possessions where we turned it over,” Pederson said. “We took some quick shots instead of looking to move it and get better shots.”