Austin Packers girls basketball team falls to Kasson/Mantorville 66-58 in Section 1AAA quarterfinals Wednesday evening

In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Austin Packers, the No. 4 seed in the Section 1AAA girls basketball tournament played host to No. 5 seed Kasson/Mantorville at Ove Berven Gym Wednesday night, and in the seventh meeting between the two teams in the section playoffs since the 2015-16 season, a 12-2 run late in the second half for the Komets proved to be the difference in a 66-58 win.

The Komets jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Austin fired back with a 17-2 run to take what would be their biggest lead of the game of 11 points at 17-6 before the Komets, who despite committing 14 first-half turnovers used the shooting of guard Keigan Cummings, who scored 15 of her 17 points in the half, and the play of forward Ella Stoskopf in the post to close the gap to one point at 23-22 with a 16-6 run of their own, and they outscored the Packers 13-8 the rest of the way to lead 35-31 at the halftime break.

the Komets were able to push their lead to seven points early in the second half at 40-33 before the Packers came roaring back with a 10-2 run to edge into the lead at 43-42.  After a timeout, the Komets quickly retook the lead at 50-46 before Austin answered back again, as a 3-pointer from the top of the key from Nora Sand tied the game at 51-51.  Kasson/Mantorville would not be denied, however, as guard Mackenzie Carrier drilled two of her four 3-pointers in the half on her way to 19 points and 8 of 14 shooting from the foul line down the stretch enabled the Komets to answer with a 12-2 to take a lead they would not relinquish.

Junior guard Ajiem Agwa, who became the first player in school history to score over 600 points in one season led the Packers offensively Wednesday night with 22 points.  Agwa’s total  of 602 points for the season eclipses the previous mark of 585 points for Elisa Bue in the 2003-2004 season.  Marissa Shute drained three 3-pointers on her way to 13 points, Quinn Osgood was also in double figires with 10 points, Mackenzie Brede tallied five points, all in the first half, Addison Walsh totaled four points, and Nora Sand chipped in three points.

Austin’s season comes to an end with a record of 11-15, while the Komets are now 15-12 on the season, and they advance to play the No. 1 seeded Byron Bears, who defeated No. 8 seed Faribault 69-41 Wednesday evening.  The game will be in Byron at 7 p.m. Saturday evening, and on the other side of the 1AAA bracket, No. 3 seed and defending section champion Stewartville downed No. 6 seed Red Wing 66-37, and they will travel to No. 2 Winona Saturday evening, as the Winhawks defeated seventh-seeded Northfield 62-46.  Tip-off for that game will also be at 7 p.m.

The Section 1AAA girls basketball final will be played at the Mayo Civic Center Arena at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 8th.