Austin's Jenna Svoboda laughs after scoring her 1,000 point Friday night against Rochester Century in Ove Berven Gym. -- Eric Johnson/

Svoboda scores 1,000th point as Packer comeback falls short

Published 11:16pm Friday, February 15, 2013

It was a strange night in Ove Berven Gym for the Austin and Rochester Century girls basketball teams Friday night.

Austin's Jocelyn Sheehan drives during the first half against Rochester Century Friday night at Riverside Arena.

Each team had a player score there 1,000th career point in the first half, each team saw that player leave the game with an injury in the first half, and one team came from 17 points to tie the game, only to fall short in the end.

Unfortunately for the Packers, they were the team that came back in a 54-50 loss to the Panthers (10-13 overall, 7-9 Big Nine).

Austin (9-13 overall, 6-10 Big Nine) had a chance to extend the game to overtime but Steph Justice missed a three with 42 seconds left and Century’s Delonne Clark hit one of two free throws to make it 54-50 with 21.7 seconds left.

“The effort we gave tonight I thought was phenomenal,” Austin head coach Todd Johnson said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the kids. I thought we worked super hard to get the game tied.”

Austin trailed by at least 10 for the first eight minutes of the second half, until Alex Hansen hit a three, converted a steal for a lay-up and a free throw and Shayley Vesel scored on a put-back to make it 45-43 with 8:03 left in the game.

“It feels good that we worked so hard and gave it our all,” said Hansen, a sophomore guard, who had 11 points and seven steals. “We played our guts out and we didn’t give up.”

The Packers had plenty of chances to tie or take the lead, but they had nine turnovers when they trailed by three or less in the last eight minutes.

Austin did eventually tie the game at 49 with 3:13 left in the game when Taylor Lady scored five straight points , but Austin scored just one point the rest of the way.

Austin's Taylor Lady pressures Rochester Century's Morgan Hartman during the first half Friday night in Ove Berven Gym.

“Sometimes when you get excited after a big comeback like that the adrenaline takes over a little bit,” Johnson said. “Sometimes you look to make the tremendous pass instead of a good pass. We tried to do a little too much.”

The game had very strange beginnings as sophomore Kanani Asuncion hit a pair of threes early on to give her 1,000 career points and she left the game with an injury seconds later.

Austin senior Jenna Svoboda scored her 1,000th point on an lay-up that came on an assist from Steph Justice to make it 11-5 with 13:51 left in the game, but not much later Svoboda, who had nine points and seven rebounds, was out with an injury was well.

“It was definitely ironic that it happened to both of them. It was a tough game,” Hansen said. “We were all pretty excited that Jenna scored one thousand. Then she hurt her knee and it was hard to get back things back together. We picked it up at the end and we played hard.”

Johnson liked how his team responded to the adversity.

“Jenna’s a big part of our team,” he said. “I thought the way the kids reacted after she got hurt showed a lot about our character. We could’ve gone downhill, but the kids responded and played really well.”

Svoboda is now the sixth 1,000 point scorer in Packer girls basketball history. Austin’s previous 1,000 point scorers include Lisa Bue, Teresa Lang, Mandy Ardntson, Anna Hebrink and Beth Bue. Hebrink presented Svoboda the game ball after she scored the milestone point.

Sophomore Mer Gach had eight points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday for Austin and Vesel finished with eight points and six rebounds.

Century 35 19 — 54

Austin 22 28 — 50

Austin scoring: Alex Hansen, 11; Jenna Svoboda, 9; Shayley Vesel, 8; Mer Gach, 8; Taylor Lady, 7; Merideth Fritz, 4; Jocelyn Sheehan, 3; free throws: 56 percent (15-for-27); rebounds: 36 (Gach, 10); turnovers: 20

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