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Austin 51, Southwestern 49; 2A Regional 12 Semifinal

Paoli-  What a season!  But unfortunately for Southwestern, a campaign which included a program record 24 wins and its first sectional championship since 1998, ended in heartbreak during Saturday’s Class 2A Regional 12 semifinal at Paoli.  Austin edged the Rebels 51-49 in a 32-minute nail biter.

This game was seen live as part of our Highpoint Health Basketball Webcast Schedule.  See it again archived in 720p HD by clicking here.

While Austin was a surprise qualifier for the regional, it isn’t a surprise the Eagles beat the Rebels once they got there.  A week prior, coach Randy Edwards’ boys from Scott County won three straight games on the Paoli floor to claim Sectional 46, including an upset over No. 16 Clarksville in the title game, 54-52.  No. 10 Southwestern then became Austin’s fourth consecutive win in Paoli and its second upset victory over a ranked opponent in as many Saturdays.

This battle was a great one from start to finish.  There were 17 lead changes and five ties.  The biggest lead by either team was just five points.

The game’s biggest run was a 9-0 effort in the first quarter by Austin which came on three unanswered trifectas.  D0wn 11-6, Southwestern responded with six straight points to briefly take a 1-point lead, 12-11.  Austin scored the final bucket of the period to hold a 13-12 edge after eight minutes.

Those were the first two of eight consecutive lead changes.  In the midst of all the scoreboard flipping, coach Jerry Bomholt’s Rebels suffered a significant blow.  Starting freshman forward Matthew Williams left with an ankle injury while chasing down a 50-50 ball in the Southwestern front court.  His season average 12 points and 6 rebounds per game were greatly missed for the contest’s final 22 minutes.

At halftime, Austin was up 29-28.  Southwestern’s Tyler Kramer led the Hanover troops with 14 points including one 3-ball and a 5 for 6 effort at the free throw line.  Teammate Coleman Jones scored six and made all four of his freebie attempts.  For Austin, Josh Hollin and Nathan Lovell both had eight points with two 3-pointers each.  Drew Buhr scored seven and dropped in one trey.

Austin converted 6 of 19 shots from beyond the arc while Southwestern continued its postseason struggles from long range making just 1 of 8.

There were five more lead changes in the third quarter before the score settled at 42-40 Rebels at the stop.

Story continues.

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