Packers fall 71-66 in state quarterfinal

Published 1:58 pm Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Austin's Tom Aase starts to drive on New Prague's Sergio Najera during the second half of the Section 1AAA title game last week at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. The Packers fell 71-66 in the state quarterfinals to St. Paul Johnson. -- Herald file photo

The Austin Packer boys basketball team mounted a furious second-half comeback but fell 71-66 to the St. Paul Johnson Governors in the Class AAA state quarterfinals.

Austin led 37-35 at the half, but St. Paul Johnson went on a 21-10 run to start the second half and grab a 56-47 lead, and extended that to 64-52 with under 3:35 left in the game. From there, the Packers mounted a run of their own, pulling to within 65-63 with 47 seconds left and 68-66 with seven seconds to go, but the Governors hit three of four free throws and grabbed an offensive rebound to hold on in the final seconds.

St. Paul Johnson led Austin in points off of turnovers, 20-6, and points in the paint, 36-22.

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Joe Aase led the Packers with 25 points, including five 3-pointers. Zach Wessels had 14 points and six assists, and Tom Aase finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.

Marcus Marshall led the Governors with 23 points.

The Packers end their season at 23-6. St. Paul Johnson advances to play No. 1-seeded Minneapolis Washburn in a state semifinal matchup Thursday.

Look to the Herald Wednesday night for in-depth coverage and photos from the game.

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