Packer girls find the switch to beat Falcons

Published 10:05 pm Friday, February 6, 2009

After another slow start, the Packer girls basketball team found it’s intensity switch in the second half in a 71-56 over Faribault Friday in Ove Berven Gym.

After playing to a first half tie at 28 apiece, the Packers (13-5 overall, 9-3 Big Nine) opened the second half with eight straight points as Tina Vorphal and Hanna Middlebrook each drilled three-pointers.

Austin led by at least six the rest of the way and it led by as many as 19 in a second half that saw it’s defense turn the game into a track meet with Rebekah Aase running the lay-up drill.

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“They were getting her good passes and she was going up and finishing it nicely inside,” Austin head coach Gary Peterson said.

Besides finishing many of Austin’s breakaways, Aase also instigated a few breaks with seven steals and 15 rebounds.

“It’s fun to play when (the press) is working. It’s not fun to play when it’s not working,” said Aase, who had 14 of her 18 points in the second half. “When we look for the fast break we’re pretty good at seeing each other, and once we get a good one, we keep running it.”

Austin initially jumped out to a 16-12 lead in the first half after mounting a 14-2 run that was jump-started by a Middlebrook three. But the Falcons (2-15 overall, 2-9 Big Nine) clawed their way back in it.

“I don’t know about these first halves. We just weren’t hustling after some of those rebounds and loose balls,” Peterson said. “We just let teams hang around.”

The first half had an exciting finish as nine points were scored in the last minute. After Middlebrook hit a three to put Austin up 28-26 with 14 seconds left, Faribault’s Jenna Peanasky hit a pull-up jumper to tie things up with four seconds remaining.

Aase said the Packers need to work on their first half play.

“We’re a second half team but we don’t want to be. Against Northfield we played a good full game and it was just awesome,” she said.

Faribault 28 28 — 56

Austin 28 43 — 71

Austin scoring: Tina Vorphal, 19; Rebekah Aase, 18; Hanna Middlebrook, 11; Krista Viehauser, 11; Kathryn Gavin, 7; Jolene Brody, 2; Robin Arjes, 2; Natalie Swan, 1; field goals: 39 percent (25-for-64); three-pointers: 33 percent (4-for-12); free throws: 61 percent (17-for-28); rebounds: 40 (Aase, 15); turnovers: 25

Faribault scoring: Maggie Stoeckel, 14; Tess Burkhartzmeyer, 10; Jenna Peanasky, 10; Whitney Gillen, 8; Jenna Henry, 5; Michaela Smith, 5; Caitlin Bonde, 2; Marissa Amacher, 2; field goals: 39 percent (23-for-59); three-pointers: 29 percent (2-for-7); free throws: 62 percent (8-for-13); rebounds: 26 (Burkhartzmeyer, 6); turnovers: 29