Packers top Tigers

Published 11:02 am Monday, December 22, 2008

While true perfection is impossible, the Packer girls basketball team played as close as it could to perfect for a 10-minute stretch in a 53-36 win over Albert Lea in Ove Berven Gym Saturday.

Austin (3-2 overall, 2-1 Big Nine) scored the last 13 points of the first half and opened the second half with 11 straight points to build an insurmountable 44-20 lead with just less than 15 minutes left in the game.

Albert Lea (3-4 overall, 2-1 Big Nine) went scoreless for about 10 minutes during that span and had 27 total turnovers.

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“We really started to pick it up and talk on defense,” said Austin senior forward Kathryn Gavin, who had 12 points and eight rebounds. “When our defense is good our offense picks up, and that’s how it goes. Last year (our press) was our bread and butter, and we’re working on getting it there again.”

The run started after the Tigers tied the game at 20 on a breakaway score by AL’s Heather Greibrok with 4:17 left in the first half. Gavin triggered it with a three-pointer with 4:07 left in the first half to make it 23-20, and she added a free-throw a minute later.

Then Tina Vorphal took over as she scored the next nine points, including a three-pointer and a lay-up off a pass from Kaycee Lukes on a pick-and-roll.

“We all just started to play as a team, and we all wanted to win really bad,” said Vorphal, who had 15 points.

The Packers opened the second half with a lay-up by Krista Viehauser, and Gavin closed the 24-0 run with a steal for a lay-up and a putback.

“I think we came out in the second half with some very good intensity, and we played a good defensive half,” Austin head coach Gary Peterson said. “Our goal was not to let (Katie Schou) get hot from the outside, and we held her to zero points.”

AL got a strong effort from junior forward Abbey Arends, who scored 21 points, but the Packers had too much motivation.

“After some losses we didn’t think we deserved we all wanted to play real well in this one,” Gavin said. “Obviously Albert Lea is also a rival. So it’s nice to take this game.”

Austin will play at Red Wing (6-1 overall) Dec. 30 at 5 p.m.

Albert Lea 20 16 — 36

Austin 33 20 — 53

Austin scoring: Tina Vorphal, 15; Kathryn Gavin, 12; Krista Viehauser, 7; Rebekah Aase, 6; Bri Mayer, 5; Hanna Middlebrook, 4; Kaycee Lukes, 4; field goals: 28 percent (17-for-60); three-pointers: 25 percent (3-for-12); free throws: 55 percent (16-for-29); rebounds: 42 (Aase, 16); turnovers: 11

Albert Lea scoring: Abbey Arends, 21; Heather Greibrok, 7; Alyssa Sager, 5; Morgan Stadheim, 3; field goals: 22 percent (9-for-41); three-pointers: 27 percent (3-for-11); free throws: 71 percent (15-for-21); rebounds: 35 (Stadheim, 8); turnovers: 27