Owatonna Pulls Away in Second Half of Playoff Opener
Owatonna's first-half, double-digit lead was down to six at halftime of their Section 1AAAA playoff opener against New Prague. The Huskies started the second half on a 24-5 run to pull away for an 81-56 victory at the OHS gym Wednesday. The third-seeded Huskies go to No. 2 Farmington Saturday, March 20 for a 7 pm semifinal.
Brayden Williams scored 28. Evan Dushek and Blake Burmeister added 17 apiece. OHS forced more than 20 turnovers and connected on 12 three-pointers.
Farmington trailed at times against No. 7 seed Rochester Mayo, but the Tigers won 81-61 in the quarterfinals. A mild upset on the other side of the bracket saw No. 5 seed Northfield win at fourth seed Rochester Century. The Raiders go to top seed Lakeville South who had a first-round bye. Saturday's winners will meet for the section crown March 25 at the high seed.
Owatonna seniors Dushek and Payton Beyer were named to the Big Nine All Conference First Team, joined by junior Williams. Junior Ty Creger earned Honorable Mention designation.
In Section 1AAA boys hoops Wednesday, No. 1 seed Austin cruised by eighth seed Albert Lea 72-26, No. 5 Kasson-Mantorville won at fourth seed Simley 59-49, third seed Winona beat No. 6 Red Wing 56-46, and second seed Byron beat No. 7 Faribault 66-34. Semifinals are also Saturday.
Section 2AAA basketball starts for the boys Friday, March 19. Top seed and Big Nine champ Mankato West hosts New Ulm. Other match ups are Willmar at Hutchinson, Worthington at Mankato East, and St. Peter at Marshall.
Other local playoff results from Wednesday:
- OHS girls hockey lost 7-2 at Farmington in the 1AA semifinals.
- The Medford girls basketball team beat Maple River 51-46.
- NRHEG girls lost at Fairmont 62-42.
Among the games on tap for Thursday, March 18:
- OHS boys hockey hosts Farmington, 7 pm on AM 1390 KRFO.
- Dodge County boys hockey hosts Waseca.
- Blooming Prairie girls basketball hosts Spring Grove on Kat Kountry 105.
- NRHEG boys basketball goes to Maple River.
- The Medford boys play at Blue Earth Area.
- The Triton girls head to Winona Cotter.
The state diving meet is Thursday at the University of Minnesota with Owatonna's Jacob Fast taking part. Section 1AAA wrestling begins at Rochester Century High School for 13 OHS competitors.