Packers settle for a share of Big Nine title against JM

Published 10:55 pm Friday, March 2, 2018

ROCHESTER — The No. 2 ranked Austin boys basketball team had to settle for a tie in the Big Nine Conference after they lost their final regular season game to Rochester John Marshall 73-63 in Rochester Friday night.

The Rockets (24-2 overall, 20-2 Big Nine) were able to limit Austin to just six three-pointers made and JM owned the rebounding advantage behind a big night from Matthew Hurt, who finished with 37 points.

Austin’s Duoth Gach goes head on against Rochester John Marshall’s Matthew Hurt in the first half Friday night in Rochester. Eric Johnson/

“There’s not a lot you can do on him,” Austin senior Tate Hebrink said of Hurt. “He’s so tall and he’s so long. If you put a body on him, he just goes over you.”

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Hebrink paced the Packers (24-2 overall, 20-2 Big Nine) with 20 points and three assists, but he and Douth Gach both missed three-pointers with Austin trailing 69-63 late in the game. Hebrink said the Packers were really hoping to win the Big Nine outright, but they’re now focused on making a postseason run.

Austin’s Gavin Owens reaches up for a rebound with Rochester John Marshall’s Matthew Hurt during the first half Friday night in Rochester. Eric Johnson/

“It’s tough because we’d rather have it to ourselves, but it’s still a big accomplishment,” Hebrink said. “We had some miscommunication on defense tonight and we couldn’t hit some shots.”

The Packers jumped out to a 14-9 lead after Hebrink converted a four-point play, but they weren’t able to hold on as JM led by as many as 14 in the second half.

Moses Issa added 13 points and four rebounds for Austin.

Austin’s Medi Obang drives the ball up the court during the first half against Rochester John Marshall Friday night in Rochester. Eric Johnson/

Austin 33  30    63

JM 42  31    73

Austin scoring: Tate Hebrink, 20; Moses Issa, 13; Medi Obang, 11; Nyagoa Obany, 10; Duoth Gach, 7; Luke Hawkshead, 1; free throws: 69 percent (9-for-13); rebounds: 21 (Obang, 4); turnovers: 7

Austin’s Luke Hawkshead spins away from Rochester John Marshall’s Solomon Antoine during the first half Friday night in Rochester. Eric Johnson/