Austin Packers boys basketball team falls to Faribault 57-55 in Section 1AAA quarterfinals Tuesday evening

In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Austin Packers boys basketball team, the No. 5 seed in the Section 1AAA tournament traveled to Faribault to take on the Falcons, the No. 4 seed in the tournament quarterfinals, and in a game that saw the Packers battle back from a 10-point second half deficit, a late jumper from 6’9″ sophomore forward Ryan Kreager proved to be just enough to boost the Falcons past the Packers 57-55.

Faribault led 4-0 early before Austin came roaring back with a 13-0 run to take what would wind up being their biggest lead of the game at nine points at 13-4, but the Falcons, led by Kreager, fellow sophomore Breuer Wolf and 6’4″ junior guard Mohamed Madey answered with a 24-6 run of their own to take a 28-19 lead late in the half, and the Falcons were able to boost their lead to 31-21 at the halftime break.

The Packers tried to battle their way back throughout the second half, but the Falcons were able to answer each rally and led 53-43 with under five minutes to go before sophomore guard Cole Hebrink, who would drain six of Austin’s eight 3-pointers in the game capped off a 10-0 Packer run with a 3 and two out of three free throws after being fouled shooting a 3-pointer to tie the game at 53 apiece.  The two teams then battled to a 55-55 tie before Kreager’s baseline jumper gave Faribault a 57-55 lead with just under 1:30 to play, and two close-in chances and a 3-point attempt just before the buzzer for the Packers would not fall to give Faribault the win.

Hebrink led Austin offensively Tuesday night with 22 points, Peyton Ransom was also in double figures with 10 points, both Isaac Osgood, who drained two 3-pointers in the second half and Jackson Clausman scored six points apiece, Banyaan Omot and J’dan Stevens both scored four points apiece, and Dakota Retterath totaled two points for the game.

Austin’s season comes to an end with a record of 9-18, while Faribault evens their record at 13-13 with the win.  The Falcons move on to play No. 1 seeded and fourth-ranked Stewartville, as the Tigers blasted No. 8 seed Red Wing 89-44 Tuesday night.  The two teams will meet in Stewartville at 7 p.m. Saturday night, and the other Section 1AAA semifinal Saturday evening will feature No. 2 seed Byron hosting sixth-seeded Winona, as the Winhawks toppled No. 3 seed Northfield 68-49, and the Bears downed No. 7 seed Kasson-Mantorville 81-53 Tuesday evening.

The Section 1AAA championship game is scheduled for Friday, March 15th at the Mayo Civic Center Arena at 8:00 p.m. that evening.