Packers look to dazzle the Magic at state tournament

Published 4:48 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

The Packers are hoping to keep their cool against an upstart team when they take on Monticello in the Minnesota State Class AAA Boys State Tournament quarterfinals in Williams Arena in Minneapolis at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

The No. 3 seeded Packers (23-5 overall) are coming off a 57-54 win over Northfield in the Section 1AAA title game and the Magic (14-15 overall) are coming off a 56-54 win over Big Lake in the Section 5AAA title game.

Austin has relied on the scoring duo of senior Medi Obang and junior Agwa Nywesh for much of the season, but the Packers will have all have to be ready to contribute if they want to make this state tournament appearance a memorable one.

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“We’re going to have to involve a lot of our teammates,” Nywesh said. “This is not going to be just the Agwa and Medi show, this  is the Austin Packer show. We’re going to play as a team and we’re going to get our teammates involved. Hopefully we’re going to come out with that ‘W’”

The Packers have played in six of the last eight state tournaments — taking second three times and fourth place last year. The last time Austin lost a state quarterfinal game was in 2012.

Austin senior LaHenry Gills thinks the Packers are ready for what Monticello has to offer.

“I think we can match up well,” Gills said. “We just have to play hard, keep them in front of us and run out.”

Like Nywesh, Obang is ready to turn into a play-maker instead of a scorer if Monticello turns its defense on him.

“They’re going to show hard on screens and I feel like they might double team us a little bit,” Obang said. “We’re going to have to be ready for that and make the extra pass. It’s going to be a good game.”