Column: Packers have had major homecourt advantage this year

Published 7:02pm Monday, March 5, 2012

The Packer boys basketball team put a exclamation point on a fantastic season this past Friday when they won their upended Owatonna 61-52 to win the Big Nine title outright.

It was one of the better games played in Packer Gym’s history as both teams shot better than 45 percent from the three-point line and both squads pushed each other to their limits.

Still, with the biggest crowd in at least the last five years looking on, the Packers prevailed as they have at home all season. Austin has yet to lose a home game as it has won all 11 contests with an average margin of victory of 24.2 points.

Needless to say homecourt advantage has been be huge for Austin this season and it will only get bigger as the Packers have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Section 1AAA tournament, which begins when they host Faribault (1-24 overall) this Wednesday at 7 p.m.

While the Packer basketball team was taking care of business, the Austin boys swimmers and wrestlers were competing in their state meets.

Austin’s Devon Felten and Brennen Russell each lost their first match at state, but just to get to the state meet in a tough ‘AA’ field speaks volumes on how hard the two have worked. They’ll also both have a shot to get back next season when they’ll both be seniors.

The Packer 400-yard relay team of Craig Heimark, Ian Christopherson, Carson Hackel and Nick Brehmer didn’t make it to the consolation finals as they had hoped, but just like the wrestlers, they’ll all be back next season and they’ll be ready to make a return trip to state next year.


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