In Austin Packers boys’ basketball action you heard from Rochester Tuesday evening on AM 1480 KAUS, the Packers traveled to the Med City to take on a Century Panthers squad that had not beaten Austin since a 57-55 win in Austin on May 4th, 2011. Unfortuately for the Packers, the Panthers, who were playing their home opener after starting the season on a four-game road swing drilled 15 3-point field goals, two of them coming during a crucial 8-0 Century run late in the second half as the Panthers held on to down Austin 68-65.
The Panthers started quickly on their home floor as guards Jub Ogak and Jayden Wysocki swished eight of Century’s nine 3-pointers in the first half to push the Panther lead to as large as eight, but the Packers hung tough and reeled off a 7-0 at the end of the half to lead 43-36 headed into the locker room
Century responded with a 15-7 run at the start of the second half to move into the lead at 51-50, and from there on in, it was a back-and-forth battle the rest of the way between the two talented teams. Guard Tait Deedrick keyed a late 8-0 for the Panthers with two of his four 3-point field goals to put Century into the lead at 66-61 with 1:04 to go. Guard Jack Lang swished a 3-pointer for Austin on the ensuing possession to cut the Panther lead to 66-64, and after a Packer foul to stop the clock, Century’s Ryan Ohm hit two free throws in a 1 and 1 situation to give the Panthers a two-possession lead again at 68-64. Austin countered when forward Victor Idris was fouled in the act of shooting and hit the first of two free throws to make the score 68-65, and he stole an errant inbounds pass from Century after a Panther time out to give the Packers the ball back with :35 to go. After a timeout, Austin was looking to tie the game with a 3-pointer, but strong perimiter defense by Century thwarted any good looks from beyond the arc and the Packers called another timeout with 3.1 seconds left. After the inbounds pass, the Panthers again defended well, and a desperation 3-pointer from the right corner was off the mark, giving Century the win.
For the second game in a row, Gage Manahan led Austin in scoring with 20 points, whle Victor Idris added nine points, Kaden Murley chipped in eight points, Buai Duop scored seven points and Jared Lillemon drained two 3-pointers for six points off the Packer bench in the first half as Austin’s bench outscored Century’s 15-1 in the half. Manny Guy added six points for Austin, Jack Lang scored five points and Cham Okey tallied four points for the Packers, who are now 2-2 in the Big 9 Conference and 2-3 overall.
Austin returns to action in a holiday tournament hosted by Lakeville North starting Wednesday, December 29th, and the Packers will take on the hosts at 6:00 p.m. that evening.