Austin advances to state semifinals

MINNEAPOLIS — The Austin boys basketball team packed enough for a four-day stay in the Twin Cities, realizing they would need at least one victory in the Class AAA state tournament before they could even consider to unpack.

And they got it.

On Wednesday, the Packers watched a 16-point second-half lead dwindle to just one point, but held off hard-charging Alexandria for a 61-50 victory at Williams Arena.

A quarterfinal loss would have sent the Packers home and they would be in school today.

But with the win, the Packers are assured of two more games.


Austin will play Holy Family Catholic at 2 p.m. today at Target Center. The game will be televised statewide on KSTC-TV (channel 45) in the Twin Cities and locally on KAAL-TV 6.2 and also broadcast on KAUS-AM (1480).

Senior Zach Wessels scored 23 points for Austin, which improved to 27-3 and will now face Holy Family Catholic, which is 28-2 after defeating Cloquet 63-41 Wednesday in another quarterfinal at Williams Arena.

Last year, Austin defeated Marshall 68-65 in overtime in the Class AAA semifinal at Target Center, before falling to Minneapolis De La Salle 50-33 in the championship.

* Fourth-seeded Caledonia (28-2) rolled in to the Class AA state semifinals with a 73-53 victory over

No. 5 St. Paul Academy and Summit at Target Center.

Senior guard Austin Bauer made 7 of 9 3-pointers and scored 28 points for the Warriors while eighth-grader Owen King made 5 of 9 3-pointers and scored 21 points off the bench.

"It's real fun to play here," Bauer said. "It's a great atmosphere."

The Warriors were 14-for-29 from 3-point range. They have shot more than 750 3-pointers this season.


"We just told them to keep on shooting," Caledonia coach Josh Diersen said.

Caledonia will face top-seeded Annadale in the state semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday at Target Center.

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