Second half rally lifts Austin girls over Mankato West

Published 10:19 pm Friday, February 20, 2009

The Packers pulled off one of their familiar second half runs to put away Manakto West by a score of 60-48 in a girls basketball game in Ove Berven Gym Friday.

After a first half that saw Austin (15-7 overall, 11-5 Big Nine) lead by as many as eight, Mankato West (12-9 overall, 9-6 Big Nine) pulled to within 33-29 at the break. But the Packers came out strong in the second half, mounting a 12-2 run that saw Rebekah Aase get free for a couple of inside scores.

“I just tried to post up as good I could and they kept moving the ball around and got it into me,” said Aase, who had 18 points, nine rebounds and four steals.

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Austin also changed up their defense in the second half as it went to the 2-3 zone with full court pressure. The Scarlets were able to break Austin’s 1-3-1 press in the first half.

“There were a couple of times we let them loose in the first half,” Austin head coach Gary Peterson said.

The Scarlets closed to within 49-41 with 7:54 left in the contest, but the Packers pulled off an 11-2 run. Hanna Middlebrook hit a three from the wing on a kick out from Aase and converted a breakaway lay-up to cap the rally.

In the first half, Austin forward Bri Mayer came off the bench and hit a three to make it 15-9 Packers on one of her first trips down the floor. Mayer scored seven of her nine points in the first half and she finished 4-of-7 from the field.

She said the Packers had a sense of urgency after losing two straight.

“We knew we had to win this and not make it close like the last time we played them. We had to come out hard,” Mayer, a junior, said.

Peterson said he had some extra motivation for Meyer and Aase before the game began.

“I told Bri before the game that she was playing more physical and aggressive in the VR game and that’s gotta carry over to varsity,” he said. “I told Rebekah I wanted to see the veins pop out of her neck.”

Aase added a rare three-pointer from the baseline in the first half to give the Packers a 22-20 lead after the Scarlets took a 20-19 lead. Austin never trailed after Aase’s hit, which came with 6:35 left.

“I even yelled off when I released it,” Aase said. “I think I’ve made one all year and I don’t even know why I shoot those.”

Mankato West 29 19 — 48

Austin 31 29 — 60

Austin scoring: Rebekah Aase, 18; Tina Vorphal, 10; Krista Viehauser, 9; Bri Mayer, 9; Kathryn Gavin, 7; Hanna Middlebrook, 5; Meg Brucker, 2; field goals: 35 percent (23-for-66); three-pointers: 44 percent (4-for-9); free throws: 77 percent (10-for-13); rebounds: 36 (Aase, 9; Viehauser, 9); turnovers: 18

Mankato West scoring: Brooke Rosenstiel, 10; Abby Rothenbuehler, 7; Katie Lauer, 7; Brianna Christiansen, 6; Jessica Henke, 4; Ashley Veroeven, 4; Jessica Wacholz, 4; Dani Sukalski, 4; Andrea Krueger, 2; field goals: 33 percent (18-for-54); three-pointers: 20 percent (3-for-15); free throws: 56 percent (9-for-16); rebounds: 32 (Rothenbuehler, 11)