Austin's Meridith Fritz shoots in the first half against Albert Lea Tuesday night in Ove Berven Gym. -- Eric Johnson/

Packer girls let big lead slip away

Published 9:42pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Packer girls basketball team scored just four points in the last nine and a half minutes as they lost to Albert Lea 74-56 in Ove Berven Gym Tuesday.

Austin's Gabby Wagner defends against Albert Lea's Sydney Rehnelt during the first half Tuesday night in Ove Berven Gym.

The Packers (0-4 overall, 0-2 Big Nine) had led by as many as 16 in the first half, but the Tigers (3-2 overall, 1-0 Big Nine) forced 18 Austin turnovers in the second half, and had just nine turnovers of their own.

“It was just not taking care of the ball and maybe that starts with what we do in practice. We need to focus on that a little more,” Austin head coach Todd Johnson said.

After Austin took a 30-14 lead, the Tigers pulled to within 39-30 at the break.

“Albert Lea came to play and I thought we let them back in it at the end of the second half,” Johnson said.

AL’s comeback was sparked by Sydney Rehneit, who scored 26 points and Bryn Woodside, who poured in 25.

“(Woodside is) quick and she had a very good game,” Johnson said. “She shoots very well and we knew that going in. It’s disappointing, but we’ve got a lot of season left and we’ve got time to turn things around.”

Steph Justice had 13 points, six steals and five assists for the Packers and Alex Hansen had 15 points, six rebounds and four steals.

AL 30 44 — 74

Austin 39 17 — 56

Austin scoring: Alex Hansen, 15; Steph Justice, 13; Mer Gach, 8; Merideth Fritz, 7; Jenna Svoboda, 5; Taylor Lady, 4; Jocelyn Sheehan, 4; Gabby Blanchard, 2; free throws: 58 percent (18-for-31); rebounds: 39 (Gach, 9); turnovers: 34

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