In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Austin Packers boys basketball team was looking for win number two in a row Tuesday night as they played host to the Northfield Raiders in a Big 9 Conference tilt at Packer Gym, and a layup from senior guard Jack Lang with :44 seconds left proved to be the difference as the Packers downed the Raiders 73-69 to split the season series.
Austin jumped out to a 7-2 lead to start the contest, and a 3-pointer from senior guard Ater Manyuon helped to boost the Packers’ lead to 11 at 23-12. Northfield cut into the lead with a 7-0 run of their own to make the score 23-19, but Austin was able to boost the lead back to 11 at 35-24 before senior guard/forward Soren Richardson, who scored 23 of his game-high 35 points in the first half helped to key a 13-5 Raider run at the end of the first half to make the score 40-37 in favor of the Packers at the half.
The Packers were able to push their lead to 47-41 to start the second half, but the Raiders responded with a 14-6 run to take their first lead since 2-0 at 55-53. Austin pushed right back and took a 64-57 lead with an 11-2 run of their own, but in the back-and-forth contest, Northfield countered with an 8-2 run to cut the Packers lead to 66-65 with 4:17 left. A 3-pointer from junior guard Isaac Osgood gave Austin a 69-65 lead, but the Raiders would not go quietly as they were able to battle back and tie the score at 69 all with just under 3:20 to go. The game stayed knotted at 69 until the Packers took possession with 1:40 to go, and, with :44 seconds left, Lang found the lane wide open, and drove to the hoop for a layup off the glass to give Austin a 71-69 lead. After a Packer timeout, the Raiders took possession and were able to work the ball to Richardson in the right corner, but great defense from senior guard Jacob Herrick forced Richardson to take an off-balance 3-pointer, which was short, and the ball went out of bounds off the Raiders to give Austin the ball back with :24 seconds left. Northfield attempted to trap the Packers on the inbounds pass, but Herrick rose to the fore again as he was able to heave a long pass downcourt that found Osgood behind the Raider defense, and his layup just before the final buzzer accounted for the 73-69 final.
Herrick scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half to lead Austin offensively, while Lang and Manny Guy also finished in double figures in scoring with 11 points apiece. Ater Manyuon and Isaac Osgood both tallied nine points, A’Triel Terry chipped in six points, Morries Jabateh scored five points, Buai Duop contributed four points and Dane Mitchell scored two points in the winning effort Tuesday night.
With the win, the Packers are now 14-7 overall and 11-5 in the Big 9 Conference, and Austin returns to action in Winona Friday night versus the Winhawks in a Big 9 Conference and Section 1AAA matchup, with the varsity tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.