Austin's Nate Schwab squares up to shoot against Red Wing in the first half last week in Packer Gym. -- Herald file photo

Column: Austin’s ‘other three guys’

Published 9:40am Tuesday, January 3, 2012

When watching the Austin boys basketball team, it’s easy to get caught up in watching Austin’s three players who made the first team All-Herald team last season.

There’s the quick first step of sophomore point guard Zach Wessels, the relentless hustle of junior Tom Aase, and the quick post moves of junior Joe Aase. But there’s much more to this Packers team than those three.

While the ‘big three’ provide the bulk of Austin’s scoring, they still need help. They’ve gotten it so far.

Seniors Goliath Oboyo, Nate Schwab and Zach Vierkandt didn’t play a lot of varsity minutes before this season, but they’re all having a big impact on this year’s team.

Oboyo provides swarming defense on the perimeter, and the speed to get down the floor and create some easy scoring chances. I don’t think I’ve seen him take a bad shot yet.

Schwab, who recently joined the starting lineup, does a little bit of everything for the Packers. His size makes him a solid rebounder, his conditioning from running cross country in the fall, makes him an excellent defender and he also brings a nice shooting touch to the table.

Vierkandt would probably start on quite a few Big Nine teams, but he’s satisfied with providing an offensive and defensive boost off the bench for the Packers. Since he started at defenseman for the Austin soccer team, Vierkandt has no problem with bringing intensity on both ends of the court at all times and you won’t see him tired very often.

I know this Austin team is capable of having a solid season this winter, but just remember if they do, it may be just as much because of the ‘other three guys’ as it is because of the ‘the big three’ guys.

The Packers (4-2 overall) are break from break to resume their season tonight against Waseca (3-3 overall) in Packer Gym at 7:30 p.m.

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