Boys Basketball: Packers clip WingersRed Wing held its own for the first 28 minutes of Friday’s home game against Austin.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing held its own for the first 28 minutes of Friday’s home game against Austin.
The Wingers traded shot-for-shot with the second-ranked Packers to a 44-44 tie with 9 minutes, 6 seconds left in the second half. But in the ensuing five minutes, Austin wrestled the game away with a 15-2 run and remained undefeated thanks to a 64-52 victory.
“That’s a really good team,” Red Wing head coach Doug Toivonen said. “I thought we came out with a lot of fire. We needed to execute a little better. We needed a little better all-around effort to beat a good team like that.”
The Wingers (4-3) welcomed back junior forward Isaac Toivonen from injury and he led Red Wing with 17 points and five rebounds.
“It’s always fun coming back to a big crowd,” Isaac Toivonen said. “It’s tough sitting out. ... definitely in the beginning you’re going to be amped up.”
Isaac Toivonen, along with multiple other Red Wing defenders, also helped keep the Packers’ Division I Davidson College commit, Joe Aase, to just seven points in the game. He dealt with foul trouble but the Wingers did a good job of making the 6-foot-8 forward settle for 3-pointers.
“We did a really good job (defensively),” Doug Toivonen said. “We threw a few different guys at (Aase).”
But Austin’s secondary players filled the scoring void, including guard Bret Lukes, who had a game-high 19 points, with 14 points coming in the second half.
“That’s why they’re No. 2 in the state,” Doug Toivonen said. “They have guys who can step up. … We got ourselves out of position a little bit in the second half.”
Isaac Toivonen and Ryan Boldt got the Wingers going early, scoring the team’s first 14 points as Red Wing established a 14-9 lead with 7:39 left in the first half. The Packers (6-0) responded with a 7-0 run to take a 16-14 lead with 5:45 remaining and the lead changed five more times as Austin took a 26-23 lead into halftime.
Zach Wessels had 10 points in the first half for the Packers to lead all scorers and he finished with 17 points and four rebounds. Toivonen had nine points and Boldt notched five first-half points.
Boldt finished with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Coming out of halftime, Red Wing used a 9-4 run to take a 32-30 lead at the 14:42 mark. The Wingers held a slim lead for the next four minutes until Austin’s Tom Aase tied the game at 41-41 on a 3-pointer with 9:26 remaining. Toivonen followed with a 3-point play at 9:11 for a 44-41 lead but it was Red Wing’s final lead of the game. Lukes hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with 9:06 to go and the Packers rode the momentum to victory.
“We made some sill mistakes but what can you do,” said Isaac Toivonen. “We’ll be fine.”
Red Wing finished with 21 turnovers and committed 19 fouls in the loss.
The Wingers were happy to face Austin early in the season, knowing that it’ll take an even better effort against the Packers in the section playoffs.
“It’s good to see early in the season,” Boldt said. “If we see them again, we’ll know what to expect.”
Red Wing will be off for the holiday break before taking part in the Owatonna tournament Thursday. The Wingers face North St. Paul in the first round.