PACKERS LIVE: Austin wins in OT! On to title game

Published 11:18 am Thursday, March 21, 2013

Zach Wessels

Zach Wessels drives against Marshall during the first half Thursday of the Class AAA boys state basketball tournament semifinals. — Eric Johnson


The Austin Packers will play for a boys’ basketball state title.

Joe Aase shoots over a Marshall defender in the first half Thursday in the Class AAA state tournament semifinal.

Joe Aase shoots over a Marshall defender in the first half Thursday.

Austin (30-0) beat Marshall (28-3) 68-65 in a Class AAA tournament semifinal, a back-and-forth slug-fest involving seven ties and 18 lead changes. Neither team led by more than six points, but Austin gained a five-point edge, at 63-58, with 1:21 left in overtime and held on for the win.

Email newsletter signup

After missing five of 10 free throws down the stretch against The Blake School Wednesday (but holding on for a 59-56 win), the Packers made 10 of 11 in overtime Thursday to secure the victory. Ten of Austin’s 12 points in OT were from the line.

Austin held a 56-54 advantage with 37 seconds left in regulation, but Marshall’s Tanner Bukowski hit a jumper to tie it up. Austin didn’t get a shot off before time expired.

Bret Lukes made two-straight from the line to start things off for the Packers in OT, making it 58-56, and Ajuda Nywesh made another pair to make it 60-56. After two free throws by Marshall’s Riley Sharbono, Zach Wessels converted on a three-point play to make it 63-58.

Marshall was 1-5 from the floor in overtime until Austin Saugstad hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 68-65. The Tigers also had three turnovers in overtime.

Neither team held a big advantage in any category: Austin had 28 points in the paint to 26 for Marshall; Austin had 27 points off turnovers to Marshall’s 24; Marshall shot 56 percent from the floor compared to 52 percent for Austin; and both teams had 12 bench points. Marshall did out-rebound Austin 25-18.

Wessels finished with 20 points, six assists and four steals. Tom Aase fouled out but had 16 points, five rebounds and four blocks. Nywesh had 12 points, and Joe Aase finished with eight points and five rebounds.

Bukowski led four Marshall players in double figures with 16 points.

Austin will take on No. 1 seed and defending champion De LaSalle (29-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Target Center.

Look for this live blog, sponsored by Walmart, again on Saturday.

The live blog is brought to you by Austin’s Walmart.