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Packer boys beat Century, can lock up Big Nine Tuesday

ROCHESTER — The Austin boys basketball team clinched a share of its second straight Big Nine title when it beat Rochester Century (8-14 overall, 5-10 Big Nine) 53-38 on the road Friday.

Austin junior Zach Wessels had 14 points, seven assists and eight steals to lead the No. 2 ranked Packers (22-0 overall, 15-0 Big Nine).

Austin closed the first half on a 14-1 run and it led by as many as 49-24.

With Rochester John Marshall dropping its second straight game, the Packers now just need one win in their last three games to clinch their second straight outright Big Nine title.

Austin will have its first crack at the conference title when it hosts Winona, which beat JM Friday, Tuesday in Packer Gym at 7:15 p.m.

The Winhawks have won six of their last seven games.

“We want to do it at home on our floor and it’ll be a big game for us,” Austin head coach Kris Fadness said. “Zach Wessels is eighteen points away from one thousand so it could be a big night.”

The Packers were focused on a showdown for the conference crown Friday with the Rockets, who Austin beat 80-77 in the teams’ first meeting, but now they’re looking to win the title against the Winhawks.

“You don’t worry about the things you can’t control,” Fadness said. “We just want to win the conference any way we can.”

On Thursday, Austin senior Joe Aase found out that he will not be playing in the McDonald’s All-Star game. Aase was one of the 472 players who were nominated across the country.

Austin 25 28 — 53

Century 10 28 — 38

Austin scoring: Zach Wessels, 14; Tom Aase, 11; Bret Lukes, 7; Joe Aase, 7; Ajuda Nywesh, 6; Collin Weisert, 4; Gach Gach, 4