The Austin Packers boys basketball team played host the the Red Wing Wingers in front of a big crowd at Packer Gym for their home opener for the 2022-2023 season Tuesday evening, and it was the Packers sinking nine of their 12 3-pointers in the game in the second half to help key a 19-0 run in an 83-62 win.
A 3-point field goal from sophomore guard Juju Koehler in the opening moments of the game gave Red Wing their only lead of the game at 3-0, but it was Austin coming back with an 11-3 run to take an 11-6 lead, a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. The Packers pushed their lead to 14-8 with 8:00 to go in the first half, but the Wingers responded with a 10-4 run of their own to forge the only tie of the game at 18 apiece. The Packers responded with a quick 6-0 run to take a 24-18 lead with 4:12 to play in the half, and Austin ended the half leading by seven at 32-25.
The Packers turned up their defensive pressure to start the second half and never let Red Wing get into any kind of rhythm offensively, and a 3-pointer from senior guard Ater Manyoun gave Austin their biggest lead of the game to that point at 43-32. Leading 50-38, the Packers then went on their 19-0 run to take a 69-38 lead to blow the game wide open, and they were able to cruise the rest of the way for the win.
Austin had four players in double figures for the game, led by senior guard Jack Lang, who drained five of the squad’s 12 3-pointers on his way to 17 points, plus he added one rebound, a team-high five assists and two steals, Manyoun scored all 14 of his points in the second half, and he also chipped in three rebounds, two assists and one steal, senior forward Buai Duop also tallied 14 points, and he added a team-high seven rebounds, senior guard Ben Diang scored all 10 of his points in the second half, and he added three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot, Manny Guy, Dane Mitchell and A’Triel Terry all scored six points apiece Tuesday evening, Andrew Clausman chipped in five points, Cameron Swenson drilled a 3-pointer on his way to four points and guard Jacob Herrick scored two points in the win. The Packers dominated the boards Tuesday night, outrebounding Red Wing 33-10, plus they tallied 19 assists to the Wingers’ 13, and they also added seven steals and three blocked shots.
With the win, Austin is now 2-1 overall on the season, and 1-1 in the Big 9 Conference. The Packers return to action Friday night in Owatonna versus the defending Big 9 Conference and Section 1AAAA champion Huskies, with the varsity tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.