Schultz cements legacy, Huskies sweep Rochester foes
Sydney Schultz has collected one accomplishment after another during her four years playing basketball for Owatonna, but the one she earned on Thursday may be the sweetest one yet.
The senior forward now stands at the top as the all-time leading scorer for the Huskies girls’ program after scoring 35 points in Owatonna’s 61-49 win over Rochester Mayo (3-7, 2-5).
“It’s a huge honor,” said Schultz, who has been named an all-Big 9 performer the past three seasons. “I couldn’t have done it without my team, so I thank them a lot for all of this.”
The game was stopped momentarily to recognize Schultz after she drove past multiple Rochester Mayo defenders to score while being fouled early in the first half of the contest.
“I was just in shock,” she said. “I still don’t think it’s really hit me. It’s such a big deal that it might take some time to realize what this means, but I was really excited and happy to be able to do it at home.”
Schultz sits at 1,549 points after scoring another 26 points in the Huskies’ 78-58 victory versus Rochester Century (3-9, 1-7) on Saturday. She eclipsed the previous mark of 1,490 set by Sarah Draayer from 1997-2001.
“It was so awesome,” fellow Owatonna senior Ahnna Stelter said. “No one deserves it more than she does. I’m so happy for her because she has been working so hard for it.”
Stelter said Schultz’s determination is undeniable.
“She’s the most determined player I have ever played with or watched,” Stelter said. “That’s what sets her apart.”
Owatonna coach Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa said it was a lot of fun watching Schultz break the record.
“She just works hard every single day,” Hugstad-Vaa said. “She’s worked so hard and is so deserving of it.”
Schultz said she definitely plans to play college basketball, but she’s just not sure where yet.
She has been looking at possibly playing at Concordia, Minnesota-Duluth, Saint Thomas or Luther.
Owatonna started the week off by defeating Rochester John Marshall (6-6, 5-3) on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 54-43.
Stelter said the team feels good about the progress its made, but they know they will have to continue to improve in order to achieve their goals.
“We need to work on defense,” she said. “That’s going to be on main focus from here on out. Our offense is connecting, clicking, and starting to really get going, but we have to step it up on defense.”
Hugstad-Vaa said the Huskies have been playing better since the holiday break and the three wins this past week were pivotal to keep the Huskies’ Big 9 title hopes alive.
Owatonna (8-4, 7-1) is currently second in the conference standings behind Northfield (10-2, 9-0), but Red Wing (9-1, 6-1) and a number of others teams aren’t far behind.
“We wanted to play well against the Rochester teams and I think the girls did that,” Hugstad-Vaa said. “When we play good defense and hustle, good things happen. We had a good overall effort and I’m proud of how hard the kids played.”
“We are excited about those three wins and we know we have another big week coming up,” she continued. “We are really hoping to have a good stretch in January where we are playing our best basketball so far.”
Owatonna traveled to Red Wing on Tuesday and will venture to Faribault (4-7, 3-5) on Friday.