Austin boys no longer 0-for-the-road
FARIBAULT — For the first time this season, the Austin boys basketball team won a game on the road.
The Austin Packers held the lead most of the way on Tuesday night and beat the Faribault Falcons 55-52 in a Big Nine Conference game. With the win, the Packers improved to 1-9 on the road, and they ended a four-game losing streak overall.
Austin had three players in double figures on the night. Nick Stackenwalt led the way with a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds.
Tyler Christiansen and Buoy Bichok were also in double figures for the Packers as they completed a season sweep of the Falcons.
"This was a nice win, the kids played hard and did a good job of going inside to score points," Austin coach Kris Fadness said. "James Maxfield had three assists out of the post and we moved the ball well. Christiansen got inside and Stackenwalt was attacking the basket. It’s a relief to finally get a road win."
After a slow start offensively, the Packers took a 23-21 lead at halftime. The second half was more methodical with the visitors getting points in the paint.
John Stevens had the only 3-pointer of the night for the Packers as they hoisted only four attempts from beyond the arc. The Austin boys still struggled at the free throw line with a 50 percent efficiency, but they got four more points from the charity stripe than the Falcons and that was a big statistic in a close game.
"We did a good job around the hoop and our turnovers were down to only 10 on the night, which is a big improvement for us," Fadness said. "We protected the ball and got to the line, then we did a little bit better job at the free-throw line. The biggest thing is just getting a win and getting some confidence back."
Austin (6-11, 4-8 Big Nine) returns home to play Owatonna on Friday night.
AUSTIN 55, FARIBAULT 52
Tyler Heiny 2, John Stevens 7, Peter Swan 2, Nick Stackenwalt 15, James Maxfield 6, Tyler Christiansen 13, Chris Jahr 0, Buoy Bichok 10.
Eric Hildebrandt 13, Jay Schweisthal 12, Brady Hanson 11, Josh Sjodin 7, Matt Gustafson 9.
Halftime score — Austin 23, Faribault 21.
Three-pointers — Austin 1-4 (Stevens 1). Faribault 6-16 (Hildebrandt 4, Gustafson 2).
Free throws — Austin 12-24, Faribault 8-16.
Rebounds — Austin 32 (Stackenwalt 9), Faribault 30.