Packers power past Wingers with a balanced effort

Published 9:30 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Packers had plenty of depth and limitless energy as they blitzed their way to a home opening win over Red Wing by a score of 83-62 in a boys basketball game in Packer Gym Tuesday.

The Packers (2-1 overall) kept the ball moving throughout the victory and the inside-outside combination of Jack Lang, who had 15 points and four assists, and Buai Duop, who tallied 14 points and nine rebounds.

Lang, a senior, finished with four three-pointers as he showcased a much improved jump shot after a summer of hard work.

“The crowd really helped our energy and energy affects a lot of things,” Lang said. “When everybody touches the ball, everybody stays in the game.”

Duop helped give Austin momentum early on in the second half when he chased down a loose ball for a steal and score to put his team up 36-29. He also did the dirty work in the paint throughout the win.

“I’m looking to play in the paint and help my teammates get involved,” Duop said.

After a competitive first half, the Packers exploded with a 37-13 burst in the first 13 minutes of the second half to put things way out of reach as Lang boosted the rally with back-to-back threes. The lead grew to as big as 69-38.

Ater Manyuon hit a three to put the Pack up 43-32 and he followed that up with a breakaway dunk that made it 48-33 with 12:31 left.

Austin’s depth was big in the second half push as Austin had eight players score at least five points and four reached double figures.

One of the beautiful things about coaching for Austin is that we have so many players,” Austin head coach Jamaal Gibson said. “We have guys who would play for most varsity programs in the state on our JV. With that we extend more and we’re not worried about guys getting fouled. We know we can bounce back. We love it.”

Austin trailed 18-16 late in the second half, but Duop and Dane Mitchell hit back-to-back lay-ups to trigger a 6-0 Packer rush that made it 24-18.

RW (1-2 overall) pulled to within 27-23 with 1:44 left in the half, but Jack Lang hit a big three with 1:14 left in the half to make it.

The Packers are still adjusting to playing a man-to-man defense after sticking with a zone for much of the past decade.

We’ve had 15 days of practice on a defense that they haven’t played maybe in their life,” Gibson said. “It’s nice to be as far along as we are, but there is still a long way to go. If we can continue with the energy we had tonight, that hides our weaknesses.”

Lang said the Packers have to stay active and vocal with the new defense.

“We have to communicate. Everybody’s always moving and everybody has to talk,” Lang said.

The win was a big one for Gibson, an AHS grad, as it was his first one in Packer Gym as a head coach. A few of his old teammates were in the audience cheering him on.

“When you grind for three or four months and you sweat together, that’s a brotherhood for life,” Gibson said. “Seeing some of those faces felt good.“

RW 25  37  – 62

Austin 32  51  – 83

Austin scoring: Jack Lang, 15; Buai Duop, 14; Ater Manyuon, 14; Ben Diang, 10; Dane Mitchell, 7; A’Triel Terry, 6; Manny Guy, 5; Andrew Clausman, 5; Cameron Swenson, 4; Jacob Herrick, 2; turnovers: 18