Slow start catches up to Austin girls basketball team

Published 9:53 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

A bad habit that has plagued the Austin girls basketball team all season came back to bite it in a 46-39 loss to John Marshall in Ove Berven Gym Friday.

It was another slow start that cost Austin (5-4 overall, 4-2 Big Nine) as the Rockets hit their first six shots of the night and jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the game’s first five minutes.

Jasmin Dittrich got JM started by hitting two mid-range jump shots and a three-pointer in the first two minutes to get JM going.

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“We were playing a defense were we didn’t think Dittrich would shoot that well and we lost her right away at the beginning of the game,” Austin head coach Gary Peterson said. “When she made that first bank shot it gave her some confidence and we couldn’t find her. They’ve got so many weapons out there and we were looking to help against their post players. Things could’ve been different if we could’ve had them miss some of their shots early in the game.”

After the slow start, the Packers came on strong in the second half. They got as close as 42-39 when Tina Vorphal drilled a three-pointer from the top of the arc off an inbounds play with 2:25 left in the game.

The Packers briefly had a chance to tie the game when Hanna Middlebrook came up with a steal on JM’s ensuing possession, but the Rockets stole the ball right back and Dittrich hit two free throws with 1:37 left to make it 44-39.

Austin lost some momentum earlier in the second half after Vorphal, who scored 15, converted a three-point play on a nice post move to make it 33-29 Rockets with 9:56 left in the game.

But Krista Viehauser short baseline shot rimmed out and Middlebrook had a three just miss on Austin’s next two possessions.

With 8:03 let in the game, Dittrich, who scored 15, hit a three to put the Rockets up 36-29.

Center Rebekah Aase had a huge part in Austin’s comeback as she had 10 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks. But most importantly she played tough defense against JM’s Nytor Longar and Apiew Ojulu, as the duo combined for just 12 points and eight rebounds.

“It’s always a challenge (against JM). It probably got me pumped up,” Aase said. “We kind of shut them down on the inside a little and they just made their outside shots.”

Austin scored just 14 points in a first half that saw them shoot 6-for-27 from the field and 0-for-9 on threes.

“We’ve been talking and talking about playing a complete game and not just the second half,” Aase said. “This game is probably one we can look back on and use to get fired up.”

John Marshall 24 22 — 46

Austin 14 25 — 39

Austin scoring: Tina Vorphal, 15; Rebekah Aase, 10; Krista Viehauser, 6; Hanna Middlebrook, 5; Bri Mayer, 2; Ellen Ettinger, 1; field goals: 33 percent (16-for-49); three-pointers: 18 percent (3-for-17); free throws: 50 percent (4-for-8); rebounds: 24 (Aase, 9); turnovers: 16

John Marshall: Jasmin Dittrich, 15; Alyssa Rushton, 14; Nytor Longar, 10; Rachel Stenhaug, 3; Apiew Ojulu, 2; Kristi Thelen, 2; field goals: 45 percent (15-for-33); three-pointers: 36 percent (4-for-11); free throws: 67 percent (12-for-18); rebounds: 19 (Longar, 7); turnovers: 18