Hulne: Packers are on a roll to start the year

Published 7:38 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2019

It is early in the season, but the Austin girls basketball team already has the look of a team that is driven to build and sophomore Hope Dudycha has begun to establish herself as a go-to scorer.

The Packers traveled a total of 380 miles in three days, playing three straight road games to start the season. The No. 7-ranked Packers were equal to the task as they beat Rochester Century 71-39, Kasson-Mantorville 63-57 and Big Lake 59-37.

Last year the Packers played in their first Minnesota Class AAA Girls State Basketball Tournament since 2008 and they’re hoping the team doesn’t have to wait another decade for its next state berth.

Austin’s Hope Dudycha with a shot in the first half against Northfield in the Section 1AAA championship in Rochester’s Mayo Civic Center. Eric Johnson/

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“We knew we had a good season last year, so we were pretty excited to start this season,” Dudycha said. “As far as being tired, we all stay in shape over the summer by playing a lot of ball and know each other so well. We know how everybody plays when they are tired and we just work it out.”

Dudycha averaged 20.3 points per game during Austin’s three-game win streak as she is starting to find more consistency on offense in her third year with the varsity team.

“A lot of my success is coming from my teammates setting up plays for me,” Dudycha said. “We’re just playing our game.”

The Packers’ game has been impressive so far, but fans will have to wait until they host Albert Lea for Austin to make its home debut in Ove Berven gym at 7:30 p.m on Dec. 3.