Lakeville North Does it to Owatonna Again and Again
Four Owatonna High School girls' basketball players saw their prep careers come to an end at the hands of Lakeville North. They weren't the first and probably won't be the last. In fact North has eliminated the OHS boys' hockey squad this post-season, finished in front of the Huskies at the state gymnastics meet and will host the boys' basketball team to open those sections on March 6.
In Wednesday's girls hoops game, North jumped out to a big early lead with a combination of hot shooting, numerous offensive rebounds and plenty of forced and unforced OHS turnovers. The Panthers won 83-46. That ended the high school career of Owatonna seniors Molly Hawkins, McKenna Schroht, Annika Harper and Julia Hanson.
This was the second straight year North beat the Owatonna girls in the playoffs. In 2018, it was in the semifinals at Mayo Civic Center. It is a virtual guarantee that the Owatonna boys will go to North to start their playoffs. Seeds will be announced Saturday, March 2.
The Panthers have ended the Huskies' boys' hockey dreams three straight years in the section semifinals at the Rec Center. This year was the closest with North prevailing 4-1.
OHS boys hockey coach Josh Storm said he'd like to play North during the regular season but indicated for the KRFO coaches show that North is reluctant to play Big Nine teams. He did say the Huskies have games scheduled for next season against Section 1AA opponents Hastings and Farmington. He added that they are still working on their schedule, with the hopes of adding a couple of high-quality opponents. Owatonna won 16 games this season and finished second in the Big Nine Conference.
While the Huskies' gymnasts did not have to deal with North at sections, the Panthers won their section and captured the state title with Owatonna finishing in a strong third place.