Packers run past Tigers 81-42

Published 12:37 am Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Albert Lea's Tyler Wichmann goes hard up hard against Austin's Joe Aase, left, and Tom Aase, behind, during the second half Tuesday night in Austin. -- Eric Johnson

By Andrew Dyrdal and Rocky Hulne

AUSTIN — The Austin boys’ basketball team pressed until Albert Lea couldn’t handle it as it blasted the Tigers 81-42 in each team’s Big Nine Conference opener in Packer Gym on Tuesday.

Austin (2-1, 1-0 Big Nine) forced 25 turnovers and most of them led to easy looks for guards Zach Wessels, who finished with 22 points, and Goliath Oboyo, who had 14 points.

“Me, Oboyo and (Nate) Schwab were getting steal after steal, and we just blew them out with the press,” said Wessels, a sophomore guard who added five rebounds, five assists and eight steals, while committing just one turnover. “They probably ran like seven deep and we went 10 deep. The press was probably tiring for them.”

The Tigers (0-2, 0-1) were led by Kyle Ooms with 15 points and Tyler Wichmann with eight. Cody Scherff chipped in six points for Albert Lea, who shot 1-for-12 from beyond the arc after torching Red Wing for 12 3-pointers on Friday.

Albert Lea’s coach, Lucas Kruescher, called it a tale of two halves.

“In the first half we did a good job of getting into our offensive concepts and attaching them defensively,” Kruescher said. “I thought we did a better job than the previous night moving the ball around. In the second half, turnovers led the layups and our spacing really hurt us.”

Austin closed the first half on a 12-3 run and outscored Albert Lea 27-7 in the first stretch of the second half before its starters bowed out.

“We’ve been waiting for this for awhile,” Tom Aase said. “Our fans are some of the best in the Big Nine and we’re always excited when they come out and support us.”

Austin led 46-30 at the break, but held the Tigers to 12 points in the second half.

“Our defense was terrible in the first half. It wasn’t as good as we wanted,” Tom Aase said.

Austin 81, Albert Lea 42

Austin scoring: Zach Wessels, 22; Goliath Oboyo, 14; Tom Aase, 12; Joe Ase, 8; Bret Lukes, 6; Zach Vierkandt, 5; Nate Schwab, 4; Ryan Larson, 4; Tommy Olmsted, 4; Collin Weiset, 2; field goals: 47 percent (35-for-74); three-pointers: 20 percent (4-for-20); free throws: 70 percent (7-for-10); rebounds: 30 (Tom Aaase, 10); turnovers: 7

Albert Lea scoring: Kyle Ooms, 15; Tyler Wichmann, 8; Cody Scherff, 6; Dylan See-Rockers, 4; Tyler Vandenheuvel, 3; Evan Templeman, 2; Miles Erdman, 2; Jorge Sena, 2; field goals: 41 percent (18-for-44); three-pointers: 8 percent (1-for-12); free throws: 71 percent (5-for-7); rebounds: 29 (Ooms, 7); turnovers: 25