The Austin Packers girls basketball team was looking for win number three in a row at Ove Berven Gym Thursday night versus defending Big 9 Conference and Section 2AAA champion Mankato East, and in a hard-fought contest that went down to the wire, junior guard Marie Tolbert drained two free throws with 4.6 seconds left in regulation time to lift the Packers past the Cougars 51-49.
The game was knotted at 49 apiece when Tolbert drew a foul to send her to the line, and after the free throws put the Packers up by two, the Cougars narrowly missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have given them the win. Tolbert wound up with four points, seven rebounds, one assist and three steals for the game, while Austin was led by veteran forward Olivia Walsh, who led the Packers in scoring with 16 points, in rebounds with eight, also in steals with four, plus she added two assists, 8th grade guard Quinn Osgood was also in double figures in scoring for Austin Thursday night with 11 points, plus she pulled in six rebounds, Cassidy Shute tallied nine points, five boards and one assist, sophomore guard Ajiem Agwa scored eight points, plus she chipped in two assists and a steal, and 8th grade guard Addison Walsh scored the first three points of her varsity career, plus she added a steal. Sophomore guard Marissa Shute chipped in two steals and one rebound in the win Thursday night, and senior forward Isabella Weideman also pulled in a rebound for the Packers in the win.
With the win, Austin is out to a 3-0 start in the Big 9 Conference, and they are 3-1 overall on the season. The Packers are now off until next Tuesday when they travel to Red Wing to take on the Wingers, with the varsity tip-off at 7:30 p.m.