Manyuon’s playmaking lifts Packers to a win over Mankato West

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Austin senior Ater Manyuon has made big strides as a playmaker this season and those new skills paid off as he helped the Packers rally past Mankato West 75-67 in Packer Gym Tuesday.

Manyuon gave Austin a 60-59 lead with a pair of free throws with five minutes left in the game and he helped Austin ice things when he came up with a steal and found Jacob Herrick, who laid in the clincher that put the Packers up 67-61 with 1:58 left in the game.

Manyuon finished with 16 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals.

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“Ater’s come very far from last year. Last year when he caught the ball, all he thought was score, score, score,” said Austin head coach Jamaal Gibson. “He still looks to score a lot and you should when you’re 6-4 and can score at all three levels, but I think after Cham (Okey) left us this year, he realized he can pass the ball and help everybody on our team get better. I know he wants to win and I know he wants to show colleges and our fans that he can do a lot of different things well.”

Manyuon is satisfied with giving up some of his shots if it means the Packers get wins. He was thrilled as Buai Duop scored to put Austin up 62-51 and Jack Lang knocked down a three to make it 65-61 with 3:13 left.

“A lot of teams know who I am and their main focus is five on one to stop me and that helps get my teammates open,” Manyuon said. “We trust each other and we’ve been playing with each other for a long time.Tuesday.”

Lang finished with 17 points for the Packers (11-5 overall) and most of his points came in the second half.

“We started working the inside outside game more and it made the defense collapse more. It made our shots easier,” Lang said. “Ater gains a lot of attention and that helps other guys play better as well.”

Isaac Osgood scored nine points off the bench for Austin and hit a key three to put the Packers up 58-57.

The Scarlets (9-7 overall)  took a 9-3 lead early on and they led for most of the first half before the Packers turned it into a back and forth contest in the second half.

“We just needed to remember who we are and we had to play hard. We’re better than a lot of teams if we put our effort in,” Manyuon said. “The conference is even and it matters how much effort we put in. Any game can go any way.”

Mankato West 30  37  –   67

Austin 26  49  –   75

Austin scoring: Jack Lang, 17; Ater Manyuon, 16; Jacob Herrick, 12; Isaac Osgood, 9; Buai Duop, 9; Dane Mitchell, 6; A’triel Terry, 4; Manny Guy, 3