For the second time in the week the Owatonna High School boys' basketball team knocked off a top-five ranked team, beating No. 4 Mankato East Friday night 77-67. That win came three days after the No. 19 Huskies handed No. 2 Austin their first loss of the season 72-61.

In the win at Austin, the Huskies trailed by one at the half but held the Packers to 26 second half points. The victory at East had a different story line as OHS built an 18-point halftime lead 39-21. The Huskies shot well throughout the first half jumping ahead 9-2 and 17-8. With OHS up 20-12 the Cougars scored seven straight points to pull within 20-19. Owatonna responded with a 16-0 run.

Coach Josh Williams said after the game that great team defense led to some easy baskets in the game-changing sequence. Nolan Malo hit a trio of three-point shots in the first half on his way to a game-high 21 points, which included five three-pointers. East was 1-for-11 from behind the arc in the first half.

Mankato rallied to close the gap to 57-51 in the second half but Owatonna responded with an 11-0 run to squash thoughts of a Cougars' comeback. Dalton Kubista scored 16. Alex Raichle added 12. Andrew Jackson scored 11, most of the those in the second half after being limited due to foul trouble in the first. Jason Williamson scored ten and had about ten rebounds along with several steals. OHS (9-4, 8-2 Big Nine) has won six in a row and hopes to host Mankato West Monday at 7:30PM, although the weather forecast leaves that game in jeopardy.

East was called on several offensive fouls in the first half, contributing to nearly 15 turnovers by halftime. Edmon Oyet led the Cougars (13-2, 9-2) with 20 points. Damani Hayes scored 15.


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