The Austin Packers boys’ basketball team was on the road Friday night for the second game of a four-game road swing at Winona against the Winhawks, and the Packers exploded for an 18-0 run to open the second half on their way to a 75-50 win.
The host Winhawks came out white hot from beyond the 3-point arc to start the game as Max Maxwell and Jasper Hedin combined to drill five 3’s to push Winona to a brief 13 point lead at 26-13. A 3-pointer from Andrew Grafton, the sixth and final three of the half for Winona gave them the 26-13 lead, but Gage Manahan then turned momentum toward Austin as he swished a 3-pointer from the left corner on the next trip down the floor to spark a 17-4 Packer run to eventually tie the game at 30-30. Austin pushed their lead to as big as four points late in the first half and went into the locker room up by two at 37-35.
The Packers still had momentum on their side at the start of the second half as Emmanuel Manyoun, who had been questionable to play due to a hip injury drilled three of Austin’s 11 3-pointers during the game-deciding 18-0 run to start the half to put the Packers ahead by 20 at 55-35. Austin’s patented pressure defense forced five of Winona’s 18 turnovers during the run, which helped to spur their offense and put the game away seemingly in the blink of an eye. The Winhawks were held scoreless until Hedin converted a three-point play with 12:41 left to cut Austin’s lead to 55-38, but the Packers were undaunted and pushed their lead back to as large as 23 on their way to the win.
Manyoun scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half for Austin, while Gage Manahan swished three 3-pointers on his way to 17 points. Victor Idris and Okey Okey were also in double figures for the Packers with 14 and 12 points, respectivley, Teyghan Hovland chipped in five points and Kaden Murley added two points for Austin, who moved to 4-1 with the win.
The Packers head back out on the road next Tuesday, as they will tangle with Rochester Century. The B-Squad tip-off will be at 6:00 p.m., with the varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.