Bench boosts Austin past Falcons

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Austin's defense accomplished what it wanted to, and the offense got a much-needed boost from its bench.

The Packer boys' basketball team limited Faribault's leading scorer Travis Krenske to just 11 points -- eight of which came in the fourth quarter -- and AHS sophomore Alex Kaiser scored nine points in his first varsity game in a 63-52 Big Nine Conference triumph for the Pack Tuesday night.

Krenske, who lit up Austin for 26 points in a 71-60 season-opening win for the Falcons, was 0-6 from the field through three quarters. Seven of his 11 points on Tuesday came from the free-throw line, where Faribault struggled as a team. The Falcons were 18-33 at the charity stripe in their sixth loss in the last seven games.

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"When you shoot 30 free-throws you have to be on top in the basketball game," said Faribault coach Terry Schultz. "We didn't come out with energy again in the first quarter."

The Packers scored the last 12 points of the first quarter to take a 17-6 lead while limiting the Falcons to 2-14 shooting.

Faribault (6-8, 4-5) has lost its last five Big Nine games and fallen from the top tier of the league. Austin (6-8, 3-6) was just glad to come out on top.

"We're happy with any win we get," said AHS coach Kris Fadness. "Alex got nine points, and that's good for us. Defensively he's athletic enough that he can guard some people.

"Alex stepped up and did a nice job. He gave us a nice spark off the bench, which we needed."

Kaiser's call-up from the B-squad was a welcomed addition to the offense, which tied its season-high with 63 points. The 6-0 sophomore hit his first shot attempt -- a three-pointer in the first quarter -- and was 4-4 from the free-throw line in a critical patch in the third period.

Kaiser drove the lane and was fouled by Peter LeVake, and Faribault's Tim Justin received a technical foul for giving the official his opinion of the call. Kaiser netted all four allotted free-throws and Austin eventually led 47-32 to end the third.

"I thought he played well for the first game," said AHS senior Kyle Rizzi, who had his first double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. "It was nice for him to hit that first three to get the jitters out. Coach thought we'd try bringing him up and it's gone well so far."

John Duren led all players with 17 points, including 6-8 free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter. Duren was 3-4 from the line inside the final minute when Faribault's Jon Karli was whistled for a technical foul.

The Falcons made a frantic comeback that forced AHS into nine turnovers in the last period. The Packers managed to maintain the lead despite missing a trio of fast-break layups.

"John Duren shot his free-throws tonight, and he didn't have to take a lot of shots to get (17 points)," Fadness said. "And it helps when other people step up and score."

Rizzi and Jon Bain added 10 points apiece, while Kaiser and Tucker Schieck threw in nine each. Marc Forman made both of his shot attempts and had three rebounds in limited minutes with Bain, Schieck and Jordan VanProosdy all in foul trouble.

Twelve of 13 players scored for Faribault. Krenske led the team with 11 points.

"We knew we needed to guard Krenske," Rizzi said. "We wanted to shut him down and we did a pretty good job."

"We knew we had to come out and get a win, especially with them being in our section. This (win) is definitely going to help us."

The Packers play at home Friday night against league-leading Rochester John Marshall at 7:30 p.m. Austin is hopeful that a strong crowd, due in part to the AHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony at halftime, will provide the team with a lift. The Pack will need the extra elevation to defend the Rockets' 6-11 center Longar Longar. The Oklahoma signee is the most dominant player in the conference, and Austin's tallest line of defense stands at 6-5 with Bain and VanProosdy.

"We have to have the intensity like we did tonight," Rizzi said. "There should be a big crowd, hopefully that gets us pumped up."


FARIBAULT (52) -- Joe Mews 1-7 1-2 3, Ian Sommers 1-2 0-0 3, Travis Krenske 2-12 7-9 11, Jon Karli 1-6 5-8 7, Paul LaRoche 3-7 2-2 9, Tim Justin 2-8 0-1 4, Ruot Chuol 3-4 0-0 6, Pat Smith 1-2 0-2 2, Justin Fuchs 1-2 0-0 2, Peter LeVake 1-2 0-0 2, Mike Hein 0-3 2-4 2, Caleb Ward 0-2 0-1 0, Joel Covert 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 16-58 18-33.

AUSTIN (63) -- Mike Tray 1-2 0-1 2, Kyle Rizzi 4-7 2-2 10, Joey Kroc 0-2 0-0 0, Tucker Schieck 4-9 0-1 9, Jon Bain 4-9 2-6 10, John Duren 5-14 6-8 17, Marc Forman 2-2 0-0 4, Alex Kaiser 2-6 4-4 9, Jordan VanProosdy 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 23-53 14-22.



Three-pointers--FAR 2-18 (Sommers 1-2, LaRoche 1-2, Krenske 0-5, Justin 0-3, Karli 0-1); AUS 3-12 (Schieck 1-1, Kaiser 1-3, Duren 1-5, Tray 0-1, VanProosdy 0-1, Kroc 0-1). Rebounds--FAR 40 (Justin, Hein 6); AUS 43 (Rizzi 13, Bain 8). Turnovers--FAR 18, AUS 24. Fouls--FAR 19, AUS 22. Technicals--Justin, Karli. Fouled out--none.