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Elmhurst, 02/25/13--| Lyons Township's Sam Cybulski goes for a steal as Willowbrook's Demarco Puckett and Yashua Trent chase after him. Lyons Township High School played Willowbrook High School in a boys basketball Class 4A regional quarterfinal game at Y
Matt Mrazek is known as a starting wide receiver for Lyons' football team, but his contributions on the basketball court were huge Monday night.
The 6-foot-4 junior forward scored a career-high 16 points to help Lyons advance in the Class 4A York Regional with a 67-56 victory over 19th-seeded Willowbrook.
Lyons, a No. 15 seed, will play West Suburban Silver rival York for the third time this season at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the regional semifinal. The second-seeded Dukes (20-7) already own two wins over Lyons, a 53-38 victory Dec. 7 and a 62-43 win on Jan. 26.
For one day, Lyons (13-14) could celebrate a playoff-opening win after the Warriors (10-17) missed their first 10 shots to open the game and could never recover. Lyons scored the game's first basket and never relinquished the lead.
"We are pleased as heck to win and advance," Lyons coach Tom Sloan said. "It was not pretty. An ugly victory is much better than an ugly loss in the playoffs."
Mrazek scored 12 points in the second half to turn away Willowbrook, which trailed 29-23 at the half. Lyons scored the first 10 points in the third quarter to take a commanding lead and Willowbrook could not threaten. Lyons outscored the Warriors 20-13 in the third quarter.
The Warriors shot 1 of 13 in the first quarter and 6 of 25 in the first half. Tiger Greene scored the game's first basket for Willowbrook, but his 15-foot jumper with 1:46 to go in the first quarter only trimmed Lyons' lead to 16-5.
"Our defense was big," Mrazek said. "If we start off fast like that on defense, we're going to turn that into our offense."
Willowbrook struggled to adjust to Lyons' zone defense and Lyons outrebounded the Warriors 32-23 in the game. Mrazek had eight rebounds while guard Harrison Niego (seven points) finished with nine.
"They were basically 6-2 and 6-3 (on height)," Mrazek said. "I knew with their (lack of) height, I had an advantage."
Christopher O'Reilly added 13 points for Lyons while Sam Cybulski scored 10 points off the bench despite playing with four fouls.
Joshua Joiner led Willowbrook with 17 points and eight rebounds to lead Greene (14 points) and Yashua Trent (12 points). Chris Poole (11 points) scored three 3-pointers in the second half to help the Warriors.
"I thought we were flat at the beginning. They guys were tentative," Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins said. "They were short-arming shots."
The Warriors lost seven of their last eight games and ended the season with a four-game losing streak.