Packer girls have win streak snapped by Winona

Published 11:17 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Austin's Alex Hansen scrambles after a loose ball with Winona's Dulcey Milek during the first half Tuesday night in Ove Berven Gym. -- Eric Johnson/

The Packers had their six-game winning streak come to a screeching halt as they lost to Winona 67-44 in a girls basketball game in Ove Berven Gym Tuesday.

Austin's Mer Gach goes up for two during the first half against Winona Tuesday night in Ove Berven Gym.

Austin (6-8 overall, 3-5 Big Nine) led 23-21 after Mer Gach converted a lay-up with three minutes left in the first half. Then the Winhawks (6-7 overall, 5-3 Big Nine) closed the half on a 8-0 run and they opened the second half on a 13-4 to spurt.

“I thought Winona outworked us from the coaches down to the players,” Austin head coach Todd Johnson said. “I thought we worked really hard throughout the season, even when we lost. I thought we got outworked and outhustled by Winona tonight. It’s a setback and it’s one game on our journey.”

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The Packers finished with 28 turnovers and Winona’s size hurt them throughout the night.

“They played well and their big kids were very physical,” Johnson said. “They had a lot more size and that took us out of what we wanted to do underneath.”

Steph Justice led Austin with 12 points and Gach added eight.

While the loss stings for the Packers, Johnson said his team will have to learn from it and move on.

“I still have a lot of pride in the team,” he said. “Life is full of setbacks and it’s how you react to it. We’ve got to show character and get back to working hard.”

Winona 29 38 — 67

Austin 23 21 — 44

Austin scoring: Steph Justice, 12; Mer Gach, 8; Jenna Svoboda, 7; Jocelyn Sheehan, 6; Shayley Vesel, 5; Sydney Murphy, 3; Gabby Wagner, 2; Merideth Fritz, 1; free throws: 48 percent (11-for-23); rebounds: 32 (Gach, 6); turnovers: 28