Sorensen, Lakeville South too much for Owatonna in Section 1-AAAA win
Lakeville – For the first few minutes of its Section 1-AAAA quarterfinal game against Lakeville South, the Owatonna boys basketball team was just a lone possession from taking the lead.
Then, the fourth-seeded Cougars generated a steal and never looked back.
Generating a 14-5 run early in the first half, the fourth-seeded Cougars coasted to an 87-57 win Wednesday night against the fifth-seeded Huskies at Lakeville South High School.
“I honestly thought coming in, we had great shot to win,” commented Huskies head coach Josh Williams. “I was very confidence coming in. There were a lot of parts to this game that didn’t go as well I hoped in various ways.”
Owatonna trailed from the beginning, but managed to keep within striking distance early. Things would turn sour for the Huskies when Lakeville South’s Cooper Jackson created a steal that ulitmately triggered the Cougars' run.
Defensively, the Huskies just didn’t have an answer for Cougars' guard Jack Sorensen. The potential Division 1 recruit seemed to find his stroke in the first half, connecting on a trio of shots from beyond the arch while on his way to 15 points in the first half. Sorensen finished the contest with a game-high 27 points.
The overall speed of the game seemed to play a huge factor for the Huskies as they were smothered offensively, often being forced into an errant pass or a turnover. The Cougars’ feisty defense created three first half steals that led to eight points throughout the first half. For the game, Owatonna turned the ball over 13 times, 10 of which were steals.
When the Huskies made it into the offensive zone, a mix of bad shot selections and being out-battled on the boards only seemed to increase the playing speed of the Cougars. Lakeville South grabbed a demoralizing 30 defensive rebounds while Owatonna mustered just 11 offensively.
The lone bright spot for the Huskies offensively in the first half was junior Andrew Jackson. While many of Owatonna's misses in the first half directly triggered easy baskets for the Cougars, there were spurts when Jackson managed to out-jump his defender for the put-back attempt. Jackson finished the contest just shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds
“I thought Andrew gave us very good minutes,” noted Williams. “He competed hard.”
The Huskies trailed 48-30 at the half after Lakeville South guard Beau Bailey was able to hit a layup with less than five seconds left in the first half. To add insult to injury, the Cougars hit three treys in a row to quickly build a commanding 57-30 lead to start the second half. Led by Sorensen’s 12 attempts, Lakeville South managed to go 9-of-28 from three-point land for the game with five coming in the second half.
Early in the half, the Huskies were able to slow down the pace of the game even though they physically didn't do it.
After appearing to yell something to an official after Sorensen appeared to draw contact from Kubista while attempting a layup, Lakeville South coach Nick Gruhlke was assessed a technical foul, sending Kubista to the line.
Just as Jackson was the bright spot for the Huskies in the opening half of play, Kubista seemingly put the team on his back in the second half, finishing with a team-high 23 points. However Williams noted that against a team like Lakeville South, there has to be more.
“It can’t be more than two guys, especially against a team like that, it’s got to be all five,” added Williams.
Trailing by 13 with just under two minutes remaining in the game, both teams had its reserves in the contest.
Owatonna finished the season with an 18-8 record.