The Austin Packers boys’ basketball team, who qualified for the State Class AAA tournament with a 46-39 win over the Winona Winhawks in the Section 1AAA championship game at the Rochester Civic Center Arena Friday evening will take on the number two-seeded Princeton Tigers in the tournament quarterfinals at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
The Packers, who are making their 33rd trip to the state boys’ basketball tournament in the program’s storied history will take a 17-12 record into the tournament against the 26-1 Tigers, who were the champions of Section 5AAA and sport a 16-game winning streak coming into the quarterfinals. Princeton is a high-powered offensive squad as they average 84 points a game, led by junior guard Cooper Drews, who averages 21.5 points per game and senior forward Haydn Stay, who averages 20.1 points per game. Austin comes into the tournament averaging 62.2 points per game, and their swarming defense was one of the main factors involved in their section championship as the Packers gave up an average of only 39 points per game in their three wins. Austin is led offensivley by senior forward Victor Idris, who is averaging 11.6 points per game and junior guard Cham Okey, who is averaging 11 points per game.
A win for Austin would put them up against either unseeded St. Cloud Tech or No. 3 seed DeLaSalle in the State Class AAA winner’s bracket semi-finals back at Williams Arena at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 24th, while a loss would pit the Packers against the loser of the St. Cloud Tech/DeLaSalle game in the State Class AAA consolation semi-finals at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at the Ganglehoff Center at Concordia/St. Paul University. You’ll hear the game Tuesday afternoon from The Barn on AM 1480 KAUS, with the Austin Packers pre-game show getting underway at 1:30 p.m., and tip-off at 2:00 p.m. A reminder that you can also listen online at myaustinminnesota.com, and on the I Heart Radio, radio.com and Audacy apps.
The defending State Class A champion Hayfield Vikings will swing into action Wednesday morning as the No. 1 seed in the field versus unseeded Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, with tip-off at Williams Arena at 11:00 a.m. A win for the Vikings would put them up against either No. 4 seed Nevis or fifth-seeded Cherry at noon on Friday, March 25th in the State Class A winners bracket semi-finals at The Barn, while a loss would drop them into the State Class A consolation semi-finals versus the loser of the Nevis/Cherry game at 10:00 a.m. Thursday morning at Concordia/St. Paul.