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Packers Finish 24-1

3 Mar

Somehow, that seems like a better headline than “Packers drop championship game.” After winning a school-record 24 straight, though, the ’81 Packers couldn’t quite get over the hump in their second-half comeback against Anoka.

Anoka had led by four at halftime, and scored the first three baskets of the second half to grab a double-digit lead. The Packers fought back hard and got to within four point a few times with a chance to cut it to two, but could get no closer. Here are the good parts:

Tomorrow night we’re expecting a great turnout of the old gang at Torge’s from 5-6:30, and then coming to the Packers’ regular-season finale against Rochester Century.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be posting video of the pre-game introductions and the medal ceremony from the championship game so you can get a good look at the Packers as we were…and see how we’ve changed over the last three decades.

Should be a blast!


Playing for the State Title

2 Mar

After beating the top-ranked defending state champs, previously undefeated Minneapolis North, which had won 41 straight games over two seasons, the Packers held off a strong challenge from another undefeated team, Chaska. See those highlights here.

That put the Pack in the championship game against Anoka, which had won its semifinal match with St. Paul Central. Here are the Packer highlights from the first half, which was a seesaw affair.

The Packers were up by a point with three minutes left in the first half, but Anoka went on a 7-2 run to close the half up by four.

Highlights from the second half are coming tomorrow. And on Friday we’ll be getting the old gang together for the Packers’ season finale against Rochester Century.

Packer Flashback: 1981 State Semifinal Second Half

1 Mar

As we left off, the ’81 Packers were clinging to a one-point lead over Chaska at halftime of their state tournament semifinal. Here are the highlights of the second half:

Tomorrow we’ll have first half highlights from the championship game, with the conclusion on Thursday.

This is all in preparation for the Friday night reunion of the ’81 Packers.


Packer History Highlights: 1981 State Semifinals

28 Feb

Thirty years ago, the Austin Packers played in the Class AA (largest school) Minnesota State Boys Basketball Tournament. A reunion of that team is scheduled for this Friday, with introductions of the 1981 team at halftime of the current Packers’ regular season finale against Rochester Century.

In the lead-up to the reunion, we’ll be posting highlights from the 1981 tournament. This post includes video from the second-half comeback against top-ranked Minneapolis North, while today we offer first-half highlights from the semifinals against another undefeated team, Chaska:

Upcoming posts include:

  • Tuesday: Second-half highlights from the Chaska game
  • Wednesday: First-half highlights from the championship game against Anoka
  • Thursday: The second half of the championship game
  • Friday: Video from the player introductions and medal ceremony

Turnout for Friday’s reunion looks to be really strong. Here’s who we have confirmed as attending so far:

  • Aase, Lee
  • Anderson, Bill
  • Anderson, Bruce
  • Gabrielson, Randy
  • Hallum, Rob
  • Haugen, Jeff
  • Jacobs, Brian
  • Jensen, Rod
  • Justice, Steve
  • Longueville, Joe
  • Murphy, Pat
  • Nepp, Doug
  • Pesonen, Mike
  • Stevens, Al
  • Stilwell, Deryk (who gets the travel award, as he is coming from Knoxville, Tennessee)

More to come…

Packers Rally to Stun Top-Ranked Minneapolis North

14 Feb

Here’s our next voyage in the way-back machine, to March 26, 1981. As we left off, the Packers were down 31-24 at halftime to Minneapolis North, the undefeated defending state champions who were riding a 41-game winning streak.

Unfortunately, I can’t show you the first four minutes of the second half, because during halftime of our game the coverage switched to Williams Arena, where the Class A quarterfinals were being played. I’m confident that on March 4 when we have our 30-year reunion we will hear wildly differing recollections of how we clawed our way back into contention, but as we pick up the action below, we had scored three unanswered buckets (no such thing as a trey in the day) to close the gap to 31-30.

Here’s all the good stuff from the rest of the action, and some shots from the crowd that will bring back memories, too:

Next week we’ll have highlights from the 1981 state semifinals against another undefeated team, Chaska.

We look forward to the reunion of the 1981 team on March 4, which coincides with this year’s Packer team playing its last regular season game against Rochester Century before starting its tournament run.



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