Not long ago the Owatonna High School girls basketball was trending toward a middle-of-the-pack seed in the Section 1-4A playoffs. The Huskies were on a six-game winning streak, which included a road win over top-five rated Austin. OHS (11-15) cooled a bit toward the end of the season, though still played close games against teams with better records than their own.

As it turns out, a two-point loss to Farmington (7-19) in early December may have played a role in the Huskies ending up with the seventh seed in the eight-team section and a road game at Lakeville North Wednesday, March 2 at 7 pm.

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The Panthers (17-9) have a higher QRF ranking than John Marshall (19-7). However, the Rockets beat the Panthers to earn the top seed in the section. North finished third in the South Suburban Conference behind Shakopee and Rosemount. The Rockets were third in the Big Nine behind Mankato East and Austin.

Owatonna coach Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa is happy with the team's effort late in the season, including a tight game against JM, "It was a good game and good competition." And a close one with Mankato West, "(Minus a few free throws at the end) It was really close the whole way. We had some really good looks."

"Defensive pressure has changed. The girls are really buying into scrambling and being aggressive on defense and we're playing together better on offense. That's really what has sparked our winning streak."

Hugstad-Vaa says it's hard to think about the season coming to a close with the strong group of ten seniors leading the club.

Section 1-4A girls basketball schedule
Wednesday, March 2
No. 7 Owatonna at No. 2 Lakeville North
No. 6 Farmington at No. 3 Rochester Mayo
No. 5 Rochester Century at No. 4 Lakeville South
No. 8 Northfield at No. 1 Rochester John Marshall
Semifinals are Saturday, March 5 at the high seeds at 7 pm
Finals are Friday, March 11 at Mayo Civic Center at 6 pm

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