Austin Packers boys’ basketball advances at state

Published 3:44pm Wednesday, March 20, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The Austin Packers overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to beat The Blake School Bears 59-56 and advance to the boys’ Class AAA State Tournament semifinals.

The Blake School used a 16-5 run over the final 5:52 of the first half to claim a 31-24 lead at the break. The Bears led 39-28 early in the second half, but Austin surged with a 24-13 run to tie the game at 52-52. The Packers missed 5 of 10 free throws in the final 1:31 but held on for the win. They were 18-25 from the line for the game.

Joe Aase led the Packers with 20 points and eight rebounds in 34 minutes of play, while Ajuda Nywesh added 15 points, six boards and five steals. Zach Wessels scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals. Thirteen of the Bears’ 15 turnovers were steals by the Packers.

JR Bascom led four Blake School players in double figures with 17 points.

The Packers will take on the winner of 3-seeded Marshall (27-2) and Grand Rapids (20-9) 2 p.m. Thursday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Marshall and Grand Rapids tipped off at 4 p.m. today.

The Packers remain undefeated on the season.