Sullivan, Kubista Share Owatonna’s Most Valuable Player Award
In a vote by their teammates, senior Jay Sullivan and junior Dalton Kubista share the Huskies' most valuable player award for the basketball season.
Sullivan, a fixture at the OHS gym for many years with his father being one of the assistant coaches, led the team in assists with 92. He had a 2-to-1 ratio of assists-to-turnovers. Kubista is a dynamic scorer and led the team in three-point shooting accuracy at 37 percent and 67 made threes. Each was named to the Big Nine all-conference team.
Junior Alex Raichle earned "The Glove" defensive award. Senior Jadyn Gunderson was named most improved. The blue collar award was presented to senior Ethan DeKam. The coaches' award went to seniors Hunter Atkinson and Eden Mrozek. The team's banquet was held Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna.
Statistically, Andrew Jackson led the team in field goal shooting at 53 percent and rebounding with 162. Sophomore Jason Williamson had the best free throw success at nearly 77 percent and had the most steals with 51.
Raichle and Jackson made the Big Nine honorable mention list. Big Nine scholar athletes include Atkinson, DeKam, Mrozek and Sullivan. OHS won the section team academic championship for the sixth time in the past seven years.
Coach Josh Williams said it was a fun year. Highlights included a nine-game winning streak and quality wins over Northfield, Mankato East and Mankato West, plus a thrilling buzzer-beating win over Pleasant Valley. He says the team scored at a higher pace than the past few years (67.2 points per game), but also gave up more (63.7 points per game).
Owatonna went 18-9 overall and 16-6 in the Big Nine for a third-place finish. Seniors on the roster were Hunter Atkinson, Ethan DeKam, Jadyn Gunderson, Eden Mrozek, Jacob Neuharth and Jay Sullivan.
The junior varsity was 17-7 overall and beat every team in the Big Nine at least once, except for Austin. The JV had two buzzer-beating victories. The Huskies' b-squad went 20-5 and tied Austin for the conference title. Owatonna reeled off 17 straight wins after a 2-3 start to the winter.