Packer charge falls short against Huskies

Published 10:09 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

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The Austin girls basketball team erased a 13-point deficit in the second half to get right back in the game, but it couldn’t close things out as the Huskies prevailed 67-59 in Packer Gym Friday.

Austin (2-5 overall) trailed 43-30 early in the second half, but it was able to rally within 47-43 with 8:30 left in the game. Atee Obang hit a big three-pointer and Marissa Shute had a lay-up during that rally.

Unfortunately for the Packers, the Huskies (4-2 overall) had a quick answer as they forced three Austin turnovers in a one-minute stretch to put together a quick 6-0 spurt to go up 54-43 after Maryn Pool scored a breakaway lay-up with 7:16 left.

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“We have to make sure that we’re not hanging our heads when we’re down, because it’ll ruin everyone else’s mood,” said Austin junior Ajiem Agwa of the Packer comeback. “We have to keep fighting and that’ll keep making us better and better.”

Owatonna opened the game on an 11-1 run and it closed the first half on a 21-9 spurt to take a 42-28 lead into the break.

“We felt we had a good scouting report on Owatonna,” Austin head coach Eric Zoske said. “We knew they were going to be quick with the trap in the corners, but it just didn’t register with this young team early on and then we adjusted. We cut them in half for points in the second half. We played hard and we played right, but we just missed too many free throws.”

Agwa finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, said the Packers will have to slow things down early to be effective.

“We have to make sure that we’re slowing down and not make turnovers,” Agwa said. “In the first half that’s what really killed us. We’re always trying to go faster than we really need to.”

Austin’s freshmen played well on Friday as Addison Walsh had eight points, Nora Sand had three points four rebounds and Atee Obang had five points.

“Nora had some good offensive rebounds, Addison is just tough and she’s a muscle player,” Zoske said. “Atee Obang gave us some good minutes too. We’re seeing some growth out of the freshmen and we just need to keep getting better and learn to play through chaos.”

Abigail Shornock led the Huskies with 15 points.

Owatonna 42  23  –  67

Austin 28  31  –  59

Austin scoring: Ajiem Agwa, 20; Quinn Osgood, 13; Marissa Shute, 10; Addison Walsh, 8; Atee Obang, 5; Nora Sand, 3; Gracie Arndt, 2