Role change: Austin's Osgood spoils Faribault's defensive gameplan

Feb. 6—The Falcons were able to swarm Austin's top scorer with a box and one defense, but the Packer girls found a way to respond as they beat Faribault 56-40 in Ove Berven Gym Tuesday.

Faribault held junior Ajiem Agwa to seven points, but Austin freshman Quinn Osgood set the tone early as she hit a big three-pointer to put her team up 16-6. Osgood finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

"It was good to see Quinn hit those early shots," Austin head coach Eric Zoske said. "For anyone to blow up their defensive gameplan was huge. Quinn got us going early on in the game and the rest of it was us kind of hanging on."

Freshman Atee Obang added a three-pointer to put Austin up 25-9, but the Falcons (4-17 overall) scored the next seven to get within 25-16 with 1:20 left in the first half. Austin (9-11 overall) pushed its lead to 37-20 early in the second half and the game was never close from that point on.

"We had to have a different kind of mindset, because we knew that our top scorer was getting covered," Osgood said. "We had to figure out different ways to score by passing and cutting. When I made my first shot, I knew it was going to go well tonight. When my shot is falling, it makes me energetic."

Austin junior Mackenzie Brede gave the team three points, three assists and two steals, but her impact went further than that. She filled in at the post — which is one of four positions she's played this season.

"I've had to learn to have a lot of confidence in myself," Brede said. "It's hard when we have girls sick and Nora (Sand) was out tonight. You've just got to be ready to take on any position that (coach) throws at you. Over the year, I've grown comfortable in all of those positions."

Zoske said that Brede is always ready to play, wherever he puts her in the lineup.

"Mackenzie is steady and I think she's probably one of our biggest surprises. She's played two through five on the offensive end for us," Zoske said. "She's a smart kid who has played four different positions for us and she's logged in a lot of minutes this year. She's been a big blessing."

Austin beat Faribault 74-37 on Dec. 19, but the Falcons have made some strides as they won two and were within single digits three times in their previous seven contests.

"Faribault is one of the most improved teams in our conference," Zoske said. "We needed to have defensive intensity and not let them get confidence early. I think with our 1-3-1 defense we got a lot of tips and a lot of turnovers."

Freshman Addison Walsh finished with six points, five assists and three rebounds for the Packers, sophomore Gracie Arndt had nine points and five rebounds and Marissa Shute had seven points and four assists.

Faribault 18 22 — 40

Austin 27 29 — 56

Austin scoring: Quinn Osgood, 17; Gracie Arndt, 9; Atee Obang, 8; Ajiem Agwa, 7; Marissa Shute, 7; Addison Walsh, 6; Mackenzie Brede, 3