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Packer girls stay strong on low rest to beat the Winhawks

The Austin girls basketball team doesn’t have any more back-to-backs on the current schedule, but the Packers proved they can win on limited rest when they topped Winona 58-23 in Ove Berven Gym Friday.

Just 24 hours after she put up 32 points in a win at Northfield, Austin junior Hope Dudycha played the role of playmaker as she finished with 10 points, five steals, three assists and two rebounds.

“It was fun to play, but we were obviously a little tired. We haven’t had back-to-back games in a long time,” Dudycha said. “I’m creating for everyone. I’m always trying to play good team basketball and make plays for everyone.”

The Packers (3-1 overall, 3-1 Big Nine) opened the game on an 11-0 run over the first eight minutes and they opened the second half on a 15-0 run over eight minutes to go up 51-11. The starters were able to rest for the final 10 minutes of the game.

Austin sophomore Cassidy Shute had another strong night, finishing with 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Shute came off the bench last season, but she’s adjusted well to a larger role this season.

“I try to get the team off to a good start and when I’m on the bench I cheer on my team. I’m trying to be the best role model I can be,” Shute said. “I’m really proud of my team. We’re working hard on the court.”

Austin senior Elyse Hebrink played hard for the Packers as she compiled four points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Austin junior Reana Schmitt put up 12 points and eight rebounds.

“We graduated five seniors last year and we didn’t have a whole lot of time to work this summer and we had very little time in the fall,” Austin head coach Eric Zoske said. “I think as the season goes on, we’re going to keep getting better. Reana Schmitt is coming out of the gate averaging a double double. She’s been a great surprise.”

After falling behind by double digits to start the game, the Winhawks (1-4 overall, 1-4 Big Nine) never got any closer than nine the rest of the way.

Winona 11  12    23

Austin 36  22    58

Austin scoring: Cassidy Shute, 12; Reana Schmitt, 12; Hope Dudycha, 10; Emma Dudycha, 9; Olivia Walsh, 6; Elyse Hebrink, 4; Ruby Kvam, 2; free throws: 58 percent (14-for-24); rebounds: 27 (Schmitt, 8); turnovers: 14