The Packers ran out in front of a large crowd as they defeated Albert Lea 79-57 in a final drink of a boys-girls basketball doubles game at Ove Berven Gym.
The Austin Girls had three players scoring at least 18 points as they went out on fire after watching the first half of the Packer Boys’ win over AL at Packer Gym. The Packers (17-4 overall) took an early 13-2 lead and the Tigers (8-13 overall) never came within five the rest of the way.
Austin head coach Eric Zoske embraced the doubleheader and was happy to see his team back in action so late in the season.
“For me, coming from Iowa, boys and girls played together every night. That’s how it should be,” Zoske said. “Then you have Ove Berven, and it’s such a special place when it’s packed like that. We had a packed student section and lots of support from the community. These girls love it. What a great experience in high school.
Hope Dudycha scored 22 points for Austin as she hit four three-pointers, while leading Austin’s new defense, which is even more aggressive and faster than the team had been playing.
“We pick it up. It’s a good style for our team. We are fast and we have great stamina,” Dudycha said. “It was a really fun crowd tonight. It was nice to see the community come out and support both teams. The number of students here was insane.
Olivia Walsh has been a consistent force for the Packers as she tallied 18 points, five rebounds, six assists and five steals and Cassidy Shute added 18 points, five steals and three assists. Shute said it was good to get a season sweep on the Tigers.
“They always bring a good match and you always know it’s going to be a fight against Albert Lea,” Schute said. “It was good to have the sweep against them tonight.”
Austin will host Northfield on its Pink Out Night at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We want to encourage people to come forward and raise funds for the Hormel Institute,” Zoske said.
AL 26 31 — 57
Austin 35 44 — 79
Austin goal: Hope Dudycha, 22; Olivia Walsh, 18; Cassidy Shute, 18; Reanna Schmitt, 9; Emma Dudycha, 5 years old; Agwa Ajiem, 5 years old; Kiru Othow, 2 years old; free spins: 68% (13 to 18); rebounds: 16 (Walsh, 5); turnover: ten