Second Half Surge Puts Packers Past Storm
The Austin Packers beat the Sauk Rapids-Rice Storm 64-55 Wednesday afternoon at Williams Arena in the opening round of the Class AAA boys basketball state tournament.
The Storm trailed just 30-27 at the half, but the Packers came out of the locker room hot and rattled off a 9-2 run to open the game's final 18 minutes.
Anthony Massman led the Storm (21-9) with 18 points and 11 rebounds, including 15 in the second half. Massman finished 7-18 from beyond the floor but just 2-10 from beyond the arc, with the Storm shooting 6-17 from three-point range.
Cody Landwehr added 13 points and 11 rebounds for Sauk Rapids-Rice. Landwehr, who will play basketball at Bemidji State, passed Kobe Boraas for the all-time Sauk Rapids-Rice scoring lead.
Turnovers plagued the Storm in the loss. SR-R committed 23 turnovers, compared to just 14 for the Packers. Austin played a particularly tenacious style of defense, with lots of pressure in the backcourt and double-teams.
The Packers (27-2) were led by Moses Issa's 20 points, while Nyagoa Olbany added 14 in the win.
The Storm will play in the consolation bracket at 4 p.m. Thursday at Concordia-St. Paul against the loser of the Mankato East and Delano game. Austin advances to the state semifinal game against the winner of that matchup.