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)
  • 1988-89
  • 1989-90
  • 2006-07 (shared with Mankato West)
  • 2010-11

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


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