Lakeville South upsets Owatonna

Over the (Minnesota) River and thru the snow to Lakeville South we go. Cats vs Dogs tonight as the Cougars take on the #9 Owatonna Huskies. A few coaches braved the elements tonight along with Steve Froemming from Stevens Sports Report (my thanks to him for the trip). Use the link at the bottom of this scroll to read his account of the game.

Owatonna forward Kyle Melcher starts the game with a nice spin from the left elbow for a drive and dunk. Alex Richter with a nice head fake for a layup and another layup from Blake Shay give Lakeville South a 6-4 lead at 14:40. Owatonna takes a 14-10 lead but then Lakeville South goes to a 1-2-2 zone with Richter on top. Shay with a pretty up and under + 1 starts a 12-0 Cougars run over 4+ minutes. 22-14 Cougars at 4:50. Melcher finally breaks a Owatonna field goal drought of almost 7 minutes with a bucket at 2:20 to cut the lead to 24-20. Shay with back to back buckets before Owatonna gets the last 4 of the 1st half. 28-24 Cougars at the break. Blake Shay with 9 pts and 3 rebs for Lakeville South. Kyle Melcher with 10 points and 9 rebounds at the break on my unofficial scoresheet.

Owatonna shows a 1-2-2 3 quarter court press to start the half but doesn't get anything from it. A Sam Peters triple and then a Melcher layin at 15:23 gives Owatonna the lead back at 29-28. That's a 9-0 run over 4 minutes across halftime. Peters hits another 3 and Owatonna leads 34-32 at 14:15. Alex Richter then gets it in gear for the Cougars. 1-4 FTs after questionable calls on Owatonna's bigs (Taylor Steinbauer and Melcher), then a layup off a nice pass from Riley West. 35-34 Lakeville South at 11:45. Vaughn Thada and Melcher with 2 free throw and a Steinbauer putback surround a Shay bucket. 41-37 Owatonna at 7:30. Richter scores, Melcher to Peters for a layup, Richter puts back a miss for 2 more. Steinbauer turns an ankle on the putback and leaves for a while. Spencer Busho with a top of the key 3 and Owatonna leads 46-41 at 5:15. Richter with 2 free throws, Shay feeds JD Mehlhorn for a bucket and then a beautiful lob to the posted Richter for 2 more. That gives Lakeville South the lead back 47-46 with 2:40 left in the 2nd half. A Thada free throw ties it at 47 at 2:14. On the next Owatonna possession, they try to run a nice set post up play against the South 1-2-2 but throw the pass away. Shay gets a very good post look on the next possession but can't convert with 1 minute left.

Owatonna appears to be playing for 1 shot so the Cougars extend their 1-2-2. Melcher is left wide open at the foul line and he kicks out to Busho who knocks down a 3 with 25 seconds left. 50-47 Owatonna. The Cougars come out of a time out and run a flare screen for Calvin Otting who gets fouled on the 3 point attempt with 11.1 left. He makes the 1st 2 but misses the 3rd. Steinbauer gets fouled on the rebound but he misses the 1st free throw. Timeout South, their last timeout. Steinbauer makes the 2nd and here comes South. West pushes the ball up the right wing and passes to Richter at the foul line extended. He spins into the lane and makes the tough shot to tie it at 51 with 2 seconds left. We go to overtime.

In the OT, West with a steal which he converts with a tough runner for the 1st points of the OT. 53-51 South with 3 to play. Melcher a sweet pass out of the right block to a cutting Thada on the backside for a layup. 53 all at 2:15. West with a drive for a nice layin at 1:15 and the Cougars lead again 55-53. Melcher counters with 2 FTs at 1:04 to tie it at 55. South holds the ball and takes time at 18.3. They inbound from the right wing to West out of a set that looks like a Shay post up on the right block. West takes the ball to the left and finds Shay open on the left wing off a double screen. He buries the 3 with 4.9 to play. Owatonna takes 2 timeouts only to have Richter steal the inbounds. He makes the 1st of 2 free throws to seal a wild 59-55 Lakeville South upset over Owatonna.

For Owatonna, Melcher was absolutely outstanding. 17 points and I had him for 18 rebounds, not to mention the assists. The lefty did it all. Sam Peters with 11 including clutch 2nd half triples. He was one of the guys used at the top of the offense for shooting in the 2nd half when Thada was moved to a wing. Nice adjustment by the Huskies. This is a very nice club. Don't be surprised to see them back in March. They've got size, shooters, can defend and they have a legit goto guy in Melcher.

For Lakeville South, sophomore Alex Richter with 18 (16 in a great 2nd half by my count) and 7 rebounds on my sheet. Shay with 13 and 6 rebs, not to mention the 2 clutch assists late. Sophomore Riley West with 10, but he forced half a dozen bad shots by my count. He made a couple of tough ones and you have to admire the aggressive streak, but he'll learn to harness that with more experience.

Click here to read Steve's perspective.

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