Owatonna Basketball Closes in on Big Nine Title After Road Win
There was a strong consensus that Wednesday's boys basketball game at Rochester Mayo would be a challenge for Big Nine leading Owatonna. Huskies coach Josh Williams has repeatedly said the Spartans are a good team. OHS beat a depleted Mayo squad 73-52 on January 6.
KRFO broadcaster Derek Thada pointed out that Mayo had just knocked off third-place Mankato East 61-49 and played second-place Mankato West to a four-point loss. The game didn't disappoint as Owatonna prevailed 70-65 to run their conference record to 17-0.
OHS led 29-28 at the half and had key plays from multiple players down the stretch. Blake Burmeister hit a three pointer for a 60-53 lead late. The Spartans responded with a 7-0 run to tie the contest at 60-60.
With the score 64-64, Evan Dushek hit a shot with 40 seconds left for a 66-64 advantage. With 22 seconds to go, Brayden Williams hit free throws for a 68-65 lead.
After Mayo missed a three with less than five seconds remaining, Williams hit two more free throws for the 70-65 final score.
Owatonna has a four-game lead atop the Big Nine standings with five games to go. That points toward Friday's game at Faribault as a chance for the Huskies to secure at least a tie for the conference title. Owatonna's last Big Nine title came in the 2010-2011 season. OHS has won six titles.
Friday's game will be heard on AM 1390 KRFO and 94.7 FM. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 pm.
Mankato West is the defending conference champ. Five teams have won at least a piece of the Big Nine title over the last six seasons.
Owatonna boys basketball remaining schedule:
- Friday, February 18 at Faribault
- Tuesday, February 22 at Rochester JM
- Thursday, February 24 versus Mankato West at OHS
- Wednesday, March 2 at Mankato East
- Friday, March 4 versus Red Wing at OHS
Owatonna's Big Nine boys basketball titles:
- 1978-79 (shared with Albert Lea)
- 1987-88 (shared with Austin)
- 2006-07 (shared with Mankato West)
Recent Big Nine boys basketball champs:
- 2015-16: Red Wing, Rochester John Marshall
- 2016-17: John Marshall
- 2017-18: Austin, John Marshall
- 2018-19: Austin, Mankato East
- 2019-20: Mankato East
- 2020-21: Mankato West