Albert Lea drops home game to Austin

Published 7:40 pm Monday, March 2, 2020

Tigers lose a one-point heartbreaker to Packers on senior night

Friday night marked the final game of the regular season for Big Nine foes Albert Lea and Austin.

In a game that came down to the very last minute, the Packers  emerged the slugfest with the win over the Tigers, 41-40.

The first half was low scoring for both teams with tight defenses, and low shot percentages sent the Tigers and Packers to the halftime break in a 17-17 tie.

Coming out in the second half, both teams continued to deal out blow after blow and traded the lead back and forth.

With just under two minutes remaining, the game was knotted back up at 37-37.

Albert Lea senior Connor Veldman releases a shot from just inside the three-point line Friday night against Austin. Veldman scored 11 points in the 41-40 loss to the Packers. Provided

Through an intense final two minutes of the game, the Packers outscored the Tigers 4-3 to avenge their earlier loss this season in which the Tigers won 72-71.

Senior Chay Guen led the way or tied for the lead in four statistical categories with 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals and four blocks.

Senior Koby Hendrickson led in assists with five, while adding six rebounds and two steals.

Two other Tigers in double figures were seniors Connor Veldman and JJ Mucha-Owens. Veldman had 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Mucha-Owens also had 11 points, while also totaling two rebounds and two steals.

Senior Andrew Willner scored six points and pulled in two rebounds.

Senior Logan Howe recorded two rebounds and two steals. Fellow senior Caden Garner added three rebounds, and junior Bhan Kuey contributed two rebounds.

The Tigers drop to 11-13 on the season and fell to 6-3 in Setion 1AAA.

The Tigers received the news Saturday morning that they would be the No. 2 seed in the Section 1AAA tournament behind the No. 1 Packers.

They will host the No. 7-seeded  Falcons of Faribault  at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

In their two previous meetings this season, Albert Lea came out with a victory in both — once in a 72-48 rout and once in a closer 65-55 game.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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