Huskies round up
As the postseason continues to creep closer with each game that passes, this time of the year often provides an upstart or a letdown for high school athletes across the state. For Owatonna's sports programs, it was a chance to keep its winning streaks alive.
Bloomington – For the No. 6 ranked Huskies, Saturday provided the opportunity to continue to work on the small things if they are to reach the goal of qualifying a team to the state tournament.
With a healthy lineup for the second straight contest, Owatonna stole the show.
The Huskies went 3-0, defeating No.8 ranked Hastings in the final round 36-23 to capture the Bloomington Kennedy Duals Saturday.
Owatonna won the first four matches, with Landen Johnson (106) and Riley Becker (120) recording falls. The Huskies would not lose back-to-back matches until 160 and 170 pounds, when Paker Westphal fell to Hastings’ TJ Pottinger and Cody Leflay narrowly defeating Nick Staska. Pottinger won by tech-fall 21-9 while Leflay managed to earn an escape in the final period to down Staska 1-0.
When it was at the 182-pound weight class, all eyes were focused on the mat as Class AAA’s top-ranked and defending state champion Brandon Moen went head-to-head with No. 2 ranked Trey Rogers. Moen – who is still undefeated on the year – dominated with the 5-3 victory after recording a pair of takedowns in the second period. Rogers recorded all of his points via Moen allowing him to escape.
Moen was perfect on the day, winning all three of his matches. Defending state champion Peyton Robb, also had a strong performance. In fact, all of Owatonna’s state-ranked wrestlers (Moen, Robb, Tut, King, Thorn) all went perfect on the weekend. Joining them was Becker and Johnson. Head coach Scott Seykora also noted that Kaden Nelson had a strong day for the Huskies.
Owatonna defeated Champlin Park 83-0 in the first round before downing Bloomington Kennedy 45-13 in the second round.
Owatonna will be back in action on Friday against nationally-ranked Kasson-Mantorville in Kasson. According to USA Wrestling’s Intermat, the Komets are ranked No. 26 in the country.
The Owatonna girls basketball team hosted the Farmington Tigers in a battle of Section 1AAAA teams Saturday at the OHS gymnasium.
While the start of the game wasn’t ideal, the finish was just right.
Managing to fight back from a late first half deficit, the Huskies (13-3, 11-2 Big Nine) were able to pull away from the Tigers in the second half to record the 64-59 win Saturday.
The Huskies struggled in the early goings of the contest with Farmington’s full court press and quickly fell to a 12-4 deficit. After a quick timeout, it game started to slow and Owatonna managed to battle back to keep the score within striking distance. The Huskies would go into the half down by one (30-29).
Out of the half, it was almost a completely different Owatonna squad. Head coach Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa said that the difference was just coming out and simply playing.
“It was coming out and not being scared, playing hard, and keep shooting the shots we were shooting. We were a little out of sync in the first half but, it was good for the girls to play through a tight game like this and come out on top,” she said afterward.
The Tigers would sustain a 40-37 lead midway through the second half. Then, the Huskies hit a 7-2 run to take a 44-42 lead with just under ten minutes left. After quickly connecting on a jumper to regain the lead, junior Sydney Schultz was sent to the line and gave Owatonna the lead for good.
After a relatively quiet first half, Schultz took over in the second half, scoring 11 of her team-high 17 points in the second half. Bria Wachowiak, Ahnna Stelter and Jenna Zeman also had strong performances for the Huskies. Wachowiak hit a pair of three-pointers in the second half on her way to scoring 12 points while Zeman and Stelter each registered 10 points.
Owatonna will be on the road to face Northfield on Tuesday in a Big Nine Conference Contest.
The Owatonna girls hockey team has not suffered a loss since Dec. 28, going 8-0-2 the last ten games. Of those two ties, Northfield was one of them.
There were no ties Saturday.
Powered by three goals from their special teams, the Northfield Raiders dominated the Huskies (15-6-2, 13-1-2) 4-0 Saturday night at the Four Seasons Centre.
Of the four goals from the Raiders, two came on a power play and one was short-handed. After a relatively even start to the period – with each team having just a combine six shots on net - Northfield woke up and started to assert themselves.
A goal from Brynn Puppe at the 11:12-mark of the first period gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead. After Jenna Bogen was called for her fifth minor penalty, Northfield was back on the power play. Due to recieving her fifth penalty, Bogen was then ejected for the remainder of the contest. A typical power play quickly turned into a 5-on-3 advantage after a bench minor was assessed on the Huskies after head coach Tim Hunst attempted to convene with the officials on the penalty.
With just under ten seconds remaining, Puppe added her second goal of the contest. The Raiders would add two more goals in the third period.
The Huskies will be back in action on Thursday when they go on the road to face Big Nine Conference opponent Rochester John Marshall.