Wingers upend Pack in Section Semifinals

Published 6:14 pm Saturday, March 7, 2009

ROCHESTER — The Packer girls basketball team was bitten by the turnover bug in a 47-43 loss to Red Wing in the of the Section 1AAA semifinals Saturday at Mayo Civic Center.

The No. 2 seeded Packers (17-8 overall) amassed 23 turnovers as they trailed the entire game, although they had some chances to pull closer.

“It comes down to us not taking care of the ball a little better,” Austin head coach Gary Peterson said. “We’ve got to make sure we come down and get a shot off and we didn’t always do that.”

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Austin’s best chance to take the lead came when Hanna Middlebrook missed a three-pointer after an Austin steal with the Packers trailing 43-41 with 23 seconds left in the game.

The No. 3 seeded Wingers (16-11 overall) grabbed the rebound and made four-of-six from the free throw line down the stretch while holding off Austin’s offense.

“We just needed one shot. It was there if we would’ve caught some breaks or did a little better executing some things,” Peterson said. “We couldn’t get anything to drop against there man-to-man defense.”

The Packers were within 41-40 after Tina Vorphal hit two free throws with 1:43 left in the game, but Red Wing’s Tesha Buck slipped wide open for a lay-up to make it 43-40 Wingers with 1:20 left.

“We left the (Buck) wide open on a man-to-man,” Peterson said. “That hurt us. It was just a defensive breakdown.”

After trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, the Packers rallied for nine straight points to make it 37-36 Wingers with 6:27 left in the game. Middlebrook closed the run with a breakaway lay-up and a three-pointer.

From that point on it was a back-and-forth contest, but the Packers hurt themselves by missing on the front end of a one-and-one twice from the free throw line in the last five minutes.

Red Wing built up their lead in the first half. After Kathryn Gavin drove to make it 13-12 Wingers with 7:17 left in the first frame, the Wingers responded with a 10-1 over the next six minutes to boost their lead to ten at the break.

The Packers will graduate their entire starting lineup this spring and senior forward Krista Viehauser closed out her Austin career in style with 13 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists.

“It was a great year and a lot of schools like to end their season in Rochester. I just wish we would’ve played a little bit better,” Peterson said.

Red Wing 26 21 — 47

Austin 16 27 — 43

Austin scoring: Krista Viehauser, 13; Tina Vorphal, 9; Rebekah Aase, 7; Hanna Middlebrook, 5; Jolene Brody, 4; Kathryn Gavin, 3; Bri Mayer, 2; free throws: 53 percent (8-for-15); rebounds: 33 (Viehauser, 12); turnovers: 23

Red Wing scoring: Olivia Johnson, 11; Tesha Buck, 11; Jennifer Ulveling, 10; Kim Hovey, 7; Abby Ulveling, 4; Megan Fleming, 2; Kaela Stellrecht, 2; free throws: 59 percent (13-for-22); rebounds: 33 (Buck, 6); turnovers: 19