1,000 and counting

Published 11:33 am Thursday, January 10, 2013

Austin's Joe Aase drives to the hoop during an early January game against Mankato West in Packer Gym. -- Herald file photo

Joe Aase is AHS’s third player to reach milestone

Going into this season, Austin senior Joe Aase knew he had a great chance to become a 1,000-point career scorer.

But he, his teammates and his coaches probably would’ve guessed the milestone score would come on a three-pointer, or at least a jump shot. As fate would have it, Aase become Austin’s third 1,000 point scorer in the past 20 years when he converted a post move for a score in an 80-44 win at Faribault Tuesday.

“We kind of joked about him scoring on a post move, because we all thought it would be a three,” Austin head coach Kris Fadness said. “He’s a scorer, and he’s provided versatility for our team. He can go out and shoot over people on the perimeter; he can put it on the floor a little and he can still go in the paint and score.”

Email newsletter signup

Aase joins Connor Gunderson and Brian Elwer as a Packer to reach that 1,000-point mark in the past two decades. He’s glad to be on the list, but he’s almost just as glad to have it out of the way.

“It’s kind of nice to get it over with and it’s a weight off my shoulders,” said Aase, who has signed a full-ride basketball scholarship to Division I Davidson College. “It’s really cool to be up there with those guys. More than anything, I’m more proud of how our team has done and it’s good to know I’ve helped our team succeed.”

Aase knew he was closing in on 1,000 and he would’ve rather done it at home, but the timing just didn’t work out. On Friday, he was battling an illness and scored nine points, but he was feeling much better on Tuesday when he scored 18.

Aase has led Austin in scoring for the past two seasons, but he wasn’t on the varsity squad as a freshman, which meant he put up some big scoring seasons over the past two and a half years.

“I definitely have had to put up some numbers,” Aase said. “There’s some kids who just average like 10 a game and start playing when they’re eighth-graders and that’s good too. But it’s nice to get it done in a little shorter period of time.”

The Packers are ranked No. 2 in Class ‘AA’ and have won their first 11 games of the season. But they’re still looking for that dominant performance where they put a team away early and finish the job with authority.

“We haven’t started a game with a lot of great energy yet,” Aase said. “We want to put together a full game. We have a lot of talent, but I don’t know if we’re where we want to be yet.”

The Packers, who are tied for first in the Big Nine with Rochester John Marshall (10-2 overall, 5-0 Big Nine), will host Rochester Century (5-6 overall, 2-2 Big Nine) Friday at 7:15 p.m. in Packer Gym.

“I feel like we’re doing what we’ve got to do to win games,” Fadness said. “I really feel our best basketball has been in the second half. It just seems like when we’ve needed to step it up and elevate our game. We have.”

Rochester CEntury at Austin Packers

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday
Where: Packer Gym, Austin High School
What’s at stake: The No. 2 ranked Packers are 11-0 overall, 5-0 Big Nine and tied for first in the conference. Century’s record is 5-6 overall, 2-2 Big Nine.