Girls basketball: Packers late charge falls short
Published 11:00 pm Friday, December 5, 2014
The Austin girls basketball team was about an inch from an exciting comeback victory over Rochester Mayo in Ove Berven Gym Friday night.
The Packers went on a 10-4 run in the last four and a half minutes of the game, but their hopes of a win ended when Shayley Vesel barely missed a buzzer beating 3-pointer from the left wing. The Spartans (1-1 overall, 1-1 Big Nine) walked away with a 48-46 win.
“I thought Shayley had a great look and from my angle on the bench it looked like it was going down,” Austin head coach Todd Johnson said. “It just rimmed out and sometimes that happens.”
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The Packers (1-1 overall, 1-1 Big Nine) had trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half, but they weren’t about to back down. Sydney Murphy hit a 3-pointer to make it 44-41 Mayo with 3:08 left, Vesel, who had 14 points, three rebounds and three steals, hit a 3-pointer to make it 46-44 with 2:30 left and Vesel hit two free throws to make it 48-46 with 10.4 seconds left.
“I thought they showed a great fighter instinct,” Johnson said. “We came out in the second half kind of punching them in the face, then they kind of punched us in the face. Then we got up off the canvas and I thought we were going to take it in the last five minutes and I think the girls did too. For the second game of the year, it felt like a playoff game.”
Austin struggled with its offense in the first half as it couldn’t seem to find a rhythm. The Packers trailed 27-16 at the break.
“The first half was a little frustrating and Mayo did a good job of playing defense. We really struggled to move the ball,” Johnson said. “I thought the kids did a great job in the second half and I couldn’t be more proud of them. We kept talking about holding them under 50 to have a chance.”
Ruth Koang finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocks for the Packers.
Mayo 27 21 — 48
Austin 16 30 — 46
Austin scoring: Shayley Vesel, 14; Sydney Murphy, 11; Ruth Koang, 10; Alex Hansen, 8; Awenia Nywesh, 2; Kelsey Sederquest, 2; free throws: 83 percent (5-for-6); rebounds: 17 (Koang, 9); turnovers: 11