Packers roll through first round

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 27, 2003

Despite playing with the pressure of being the top seed in Section 1AAA, the Austin girls' basketball team passed its first test Wednesday night at Ove Berven Gym. Eighth-seeded Farmington was able to hang around for a while, but 26 points by Lisa Bue proved to be the difference for the Packers in their 62-44 victory.

"Everyone'll play you tough this time of the year because they don't have anything to lose," said Bue. "Plus we had some nerves at first because of being the first seed and all, but we aren't ready for the season to end yet."

Austin advances to the section semifinals against fourth-seeded New Prague Saturday at 2:45 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

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The Packers jumped out on Farmington, but the Tigers were not ready to simply go away.

"We let them hang around," said Austin head coach Gary Peterson, "but they did a good job of slowing us down for some stretches tonight."

Stephanie Eslinger gave Austin a lift in the first quarter, establishing position down low to get good looks at the basket. Aside from scoring six points in the first eight minutes, Eslinger also had a block and a steal.

Amy Kelly dropped in an early three-pointer and got two hard-earned free-throws that put the Packers up 13-6. Farmington closed the quarter on an 8-4 run and trailed 17-14.

The Tigers edged their way to being down only 19-18 early in the second quarter, but by then Bue had begun to round into form. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Bue tallied eight points in the second period to help Austin push the lead back up to six, helped by a buzzer-beating jumper.

Bue continued her fine play in the second half at both ends of the floor. She hit a three-pointer and added five points off putbacks to spark a 12-2 run that ran Austin's lead to 48-31. She was also a key factor in holding Farmington's leading scorer -- Krista Cordes -- scoreless.

"We were trying to hold her under 10 points," said Peterson, "so we switched to a box-and-one defense and just packed it in."

Farmington put together a 5-0 run of their own, but Bue slapped aside this challenge with seven points of her own to erase any hopes of a Tiger comeback. Trailing 55-36, Cordes finally got her first points of the half, but it was too late to threaten the Packer lead.

The Tigers were led by 16 points from Cordes, with Michelle Swedin adding 11 points.

The Packers got 26 points and four steals in an all-around performance from Bue. In their final game at Ove Bergen, seniors Kelly and Eslinger finished with 12 and 10 points respectively.

Austin gets a rematch of a non-conference game played earlier this season at New Prague. The Packers easily won the first meeting, 56-32.

"We played our best game all year that night, so it should be different this time," Peterson said. "I'm sure they'll give us a good game."


FARMINGTON (44) -- Michelle Swedin 11, Jeana Feely 5, Krista Cordes 16, Ashley Harms 5, Erin Jones 4, Jamie Haas 2, Johanna Grosse 1.

AUSTIN (62) -- Amy Kelly 12, Laura Geffert 4, Lisa Bue 26, Stephanie Eslinger 10, Brittney Erichson 0, Caitlin Jurgensen 4, Keri Feller 6, Nicole Turvey 0, Kelly Momsen 0, Kati Seeck 0, Stephanie Bowe 0, Amy Wollenberg 0.



Free-throws--Farmington 10-15, Austin 15-19.

Three-pointers--Farmington 2 (Swedin 2); Austin 3 (Bue 2, Kelly).

Section 1AAA:

First Round

Austin 62, Farmington 44

Faribault 60, Northfield 49

New Prague 53, Red Wing 43

Winona 42, Rosemount 39, OT


Saturday, March 1

Mayo Civic Center

(2) Faribault vs. (3) Winona, 1 p.m.

(1) Austin vs. (4) New Prague, 2:45 p.m.

Section Finals

Friday, March 7, 6:30 p.m.