Up, up and away; Packer boys kick off season with win over Byron, 82-69
Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Austin junior Both Gach was everywhere for the Austin boys basketball team as it opened its season with an 82-69 win over Byron in Packer Gym Tuesday.
Gach scored a career-high 34 points, while grabbing four rebounds, dishing out four assists and getting four steals. Gach drilled six threes in the win, including a triple that put the Packers up 74-56 late in the game.
“I was feeling it out there, but it doesn’t really mean much [to get 34]. We got the win,” Gach said. “It was a good test for our first game. We just need to work on the things that we need to get better at and feed off it.”
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Austin head coach Kris Fadness credited Gach for a solid effort, on a night when things weren’t always going Austin’s way. Byron (0-2 overall) was able to use an 11-0 run to get within 31-30 in the first half and the Bears used an 8-0 run to pull within 66-54 in the second half.
“Both Gach was pretty darn good tonight and thankfully he carried us at times,” Fadness said. “[On defense], it just got to the point where we were looking to steal and dunk. You can’t play defense that way; you’ve got to stay grounded. I thought we got carried away and started playing street ball.”
Austin led just 39-34 at the break, but Oman Oman, who had eight points and nine rebounds, and Duoth Gach, who had 15 points and four assists, hit back-to-back threes to put the Packers up 45-34 early in the second half. Austin (1-0 overall) was able to take over from that point.
Oman helped trigger plenty of Packer fast breaks by crashing the boards and making quick outlet passes.
“We were excited to get out there and play. We waited for a long two weeks,” Oman said. “Every time I get a rebound I always look up to see what guys are running to the hoop and I try to get them the ball.”
Moses Issa chipped in 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals and Tate Hebrink had seven points and six assists for the Packers, who forced 20 turnovers in the win.
Byron 34 35 — 69
Austin 39 43 — 82
Austin scoring: Both Gach, 34; Duoth Gach, 15; Moses Issa, 10; Oman Oman, 8; Tate Hebrink, 7; Jany Gash, 6; Trent Brown, 2; free throws: 100 percent (6-for-6); rebounds: 35 (Oman, 9); turnovers: 20