Duoth Gach’s buzzer beater lifts Packers over Washburn

Published 8:48 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place, but the Austin Packer boys basketball team proved it can hit two impressive game-winning buzzer beaters twice in the same month.

After Oman Oman hit a full court buzzer beater to beat Northfield Dec. 8, Austin sophomore Duoth Gach took his turn to be the hero as he drilled a buzzer beating fade-away three-pointer from the baseline to knock off Minneapolis Washburn (4-6 overall) 58-55 in the Winona State University tournament Tuesday.

Duoth finished with 18 points in the win for the Packers (7-2 overall) and he’s now averaging 17.6 points per game in Austin’s last three contests. Duoth, who caught a pass from his twin brother Both, with a just a couple of ticks on the clock, knew the heave was one of desperation, but he was able to get a look at the rim.

“I just grabbed it, took a dribble and shot. I was surprised when it went in,” Duoth said. “It just feels great. There’s a lot of excitement.”

Duoth spent his time on Austin’s JV team as a freshman last year as Both played varsity basketball for the Packers. Duoth’s patience has paid off this season as he leads the Packers in three-point shooting and he plays a key role at the top of Austin’s zone defense.

“We’re bringing him off the bench still and we’ll probably keep him in that role, because we like having someone come off the bench who can score,” Austin head coach Kris Fadness said of Duoth. “He’s playing real well and we’re really happy with his progression.”

Both also played a key role on Tuesday as the Packers erased a late deficit to get the win. Both had a key three-pointer and a steal that led to a three-point play down the stretch.

Fadness was pleased with the win, but he feels his team can play better.

“I was pretty hard on the guys after the game, because I didn’t think we played real well,” Fadness said. “But our kids found away to gut it out and we were able to get the win. It was nice to win a game when we didn’t think we played that well.”

The Packers will take on Caledonia 2:45 p.m. Thursday at Winona State.

Austin scoring: Duoth Gach, 18; Both Gach, 12; Zach Coffey, 7; Mark Manyuon, 7; Elijah Andersen, 4; Kyle Oberbroeckling, 4; Jace Murray, 2; Oman Oman, 2; Trent Brown, 2; free throws: 71 percent (71 percent)