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March 21, 2013While in the end it didn't work out for him, perhaps Sutton's sensational senior Austan Rath might never have been better.
With not much else working for his team in a state title game it would lose in sickening double-overtime fashion, Rath elevated his game in the fourth quarter and into the extra sessions, heroically making play after play, trying to find a way to make good things happen, just as you'd expect from a player of the year.
Which Rath now is, Huskerland Prep Report's Class C-2 player of the year.
A dynamite athlete - 6-2, springy and strong - Rath is also a fierce competitor who brought that certain edge to one of C-2's toughest, and best, teams. His stats were outstanding - 20.2 points and 5.2 rebounds, plus lots of floor burns per game - but when I watched the kid play it was his attitude and approach to the game which always caught my eye. In the end he led his team to a great 27-2 record.
After missing the end of last season, and watching as his 23-win team failed to qualify for the state tournament, Rath was able to lead his team to a state final, beating 23-win Freeman and 22-win Johnson County Central in the final two district games, a fitting end to a brilliant career.