For Owatonna girls' basketball coach Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa, saying goodbye to the nine seniors on the 2017-18 roster is a difficult thing to do. The group has been there from day one for her. Many of them were members of the junior varsity team that she coached when she first arrived in Owatonna. They made up the bulk of the varsity this season, Hugtad-Vaa's second as the Huskies' head coach.

The team recently held their awards' banquet and most of the honors went to seniors. Sydney Schultz, who ends her career as the all-time leading scorer in OHS basketball history, was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player. Bria Wachowiak earned the defensive MVP award. Hannah Gebur was named most improved. The Husky Spirit Award was shared by Julia Haarstad and Steph Liebl. Lexi Falken received the Sixth Player Award. Sophomore Sara Anderson was the Rookie of the Year.

All-Big Nine Conference recognition went to Schultz, Jenna Zeman and Ahnna Stelter. Alexa Sommers rounds out the senior class, nearly all of which earned academics honors as well with a GPA of 3.8 or higher. The team won a gold academic award for its 3.91 overall GPA.

Hugstad-Vaa said every senior contributed in a big way to the success of the team and set a great example for the younger players. Owatonna (21-7, 19-3 Big Nine) went unbeaten at home (12-0) and finished second in the conference behind Northfield. The Huskies beat Rochester JM in the first round of sections and lost to Lakeville North in the semifinals at the Mayo Civic Center. The Panthers went on to take third place at the state 4A tournament. OHS beat three teams that went to state in 3A (Mankato West, Alexandria and Northfield).