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Column: Austin girls basketball team is learning to win

For a team that had won just 14 games in the past two years combined, things couldn’t have started tougher for the Austin girls basketball team this season.

Six of their first seven games came against teams that currently have records that are well above .500 and the Packers lost five of those games by at least 15 points.

Since then, Austin has found its rhythm. The Packers (7-6 overall), who travel to Winona Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., have rattled off six wins in a row with the biggest one coming last Friday against Rochester Century (8-6 overall).

The reason for the Packers’ newfound success is as simple as role definition.

Babaye Oja is taking command of the offense as a primary scorer, Jenna Svoboda is chipping in as a quality scorer and rebounder and Taylor Lady and Stephanie Justice have matured into secondary scorers.

The Packers are also getting defensive and rebounding help from the likes of Danielle Tschann and Marwa Omot, while Merideth Fritz and Alex Hansen have provided some strong perimeter defense and ball handling skills.

It’s a lot easier to win when everyone knows what their job is and I think that’s becoming the case with this team. It’s also easier to win when everyone embraces their job and this group seems to be on the same page.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Packers can grow towards even bigger heights this season.