The Austin Packers girls basketball team was looking to close out a fantastic 2021-2022 season on a high note Friday afternoon versus Section 8AAA champion Detroit Lakes in the State Class AAA consolation final at the Ganglehoff Center at Concordia University in St. Paul, and as they did Thursday against Benilde-St. Margaret’s, the Packers found another gear in the second half to pull away and claim the consolation title with a 62-52 win.
Like Thursday, Austin saw their opponent take an early lead, but, also like Thursday, the veteran Packers found their way and battled back to eventually take a 33-23 lead into the locker room at halftime. After a brief lull to start the second half, Austin found their offensive rhythm and pushed their lead to as large as 17 points over the young Lakers, who were never able to cut the lead to under 10 the rest of the way. What turned out to be a great day for the Packers got a ton better toward the end of the contest when senior guard Emma Dudycha swished a 3-pointer to join twin sister Hope in the 1,000 point club in program history.
Hope Dudycha led Austin in scoring Friday with 17 points, giving her a school record 1,657 for her varsity career that began with sister Emma in 7th grade. Fellow senior Reanna Schmitt tallied 13 points in the last game of her career with the Packers, Emma Dudycha was also in double figures with 11 points and freshman guard Ajiem Agwa again played a crucial role off the bench for Austin in a win as not only did she score seven points, including a key 3-pointer in the second half to help the Packers pull away, she also provided a spark defensivley to help keep Austin in front. Cassidy Schute drained a pair of 3’s for six points and Olivia Walsh and Kiru Othow each scored four points for the Packers, who wind up a season to remember with a record of 26-6.
This was Austin’s sixth trip to the state girls’ basketball tournament in school history, with other appearances in 1976, 2004, 2008, 2019 and 2021.