In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Austin Packers girls basketball team was looking for win number two in a row Friday evening as they played host to the Owatonna Huskies in a Big 9 Conference tilt, and in a game moved at the last minute to Packer Gym due to an electrical short that rendered a scoreboard and a shot clock inoperable in Ove Berven Gym, it was the Huskies jumping out to an early lead they would not relinquish in a 67-59 victory.
Owatonna bolted out to a 10-1 lead to start the game, and Austin’s first field goal did not come until the game was nearly five minutes old when Quinn Osgood swished a 3-pointer straight away from 24 feet to cut the Huskies’s lead to 12-7 with 13:20 to go in the half. The Packers later used a quick 6-0 run, keyed by two quick baskets off of Owatonna turnovers to edge as close as two points at 21-19, but the Huskies had the answer after a timeout as they then went on an 11-1 run of their own to push their lead up to 12 points at 32-20, and they took what wound up being their biggest lead of the game at 42-28 at the halftime break.
Austin started the second half on a 9-1 run to cut the Owatonna lead to six points at 43-37 with 11:47 left, and a hoop for junior guard Marissa Shute off of an offensive rebound with 9:56 to go helped the Packers edge as close as four points at 47-43. However, as they did in the first half, the Huskies answered an Austin run with one of their own after a timeout as a quick 7-0 spurt put Owatonna in the lead at 54-43 with 7:16 to go in the contest, and try as they might, the Packers would get no closer the rest of the way.
Junior guard Ajiem Agwa, who is averaging 17.1 points per game led the Packers with 18 points Friday night, Quinn Osgood drained three 3-pointers on her way to 13 points, Marissa Shute tallied nine points, Addison Walsh scored eight points off the Austin bench, Atee Obang added five points, Nora Sand tallied three points, and Gracie Arndt finished with two points for the game. The Huskies were victorious even though they turned the ball over 23 times to 20 for Austin, and the Packers shot 37 free throws to 15 for the Huskies, but a big factor that torpedoed Austin’s comeback in the second half was the squad going only 4 for 17 from the charity stripe to wind up 15 for 37 for the game for 40%, while the Huskies, who came into the game shooting only 41% as a team from the foul line went 9 for 15 for 60%.
With the loss, the Packers are 1-2 in the Big 9 Conference and 2-5 overall on the season. The Packers are now off until next Thursday when they will travel to Faribault to take on the Falcons, with the varsity tip-off at 7:30 p.m. that evening.