VARSITY ROSTER

Payton Beyer, senior

Nolan Burmeister, senior

Abdi Isman, senior

Mason Kunkel, senior

Lincoln Maher, senior

Emmanuel Ojulu, senior

Jack Titchenal, senior

Lane Versteeg, senior

Ty Creger, junior

Evan Dushek, junior

Blake Burmeister, sophomore

2021 SCHEDULE

Jan. 14 — vs. Mankato East, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 16 — at Rochester Century, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 21 — vs. Mankato West, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 23 — at Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26 — vs. Rochester Mayo, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 29 — vs. Albert Lea, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 — vs. Faribault, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 5 — vs. Red Wing, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 8 — at Austin, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 12 — vs. Winona, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 — at Albert Lea, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 18 — at Mankato East, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 23 — vs. Northfield, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 26 — at Mankato West, 7:30 p.m.

March 2 — at Winona, 7:30 p.m.

March 5 — vs. Rochester John Marshall, 7:30 p.m.

March 8 — at Northfield, 7:30 p.m.

March 12 — at Red Wing, 7:30 p.m.

KEY MATCHUPS

Jan. 14 vs. Mankato East — Arguably the biggest test for the Huskies will occur on the first night of the season, when the two-time defending Big 9 Conference champion Cougars visit Owatonna. Mankato East has not lost a Big 9 game since Feb. 15, 2019 — when Winona escaped with a 69-63 victory. On the surface it appears the two programs are heading in opposite directions. After a 22-0 mark in the Big 9 last season, Mankato East graduated eight seniors. After last season’s fifth-place conference finish, Owatonna brings back its three leading scorers (Beyer, Dushek and Williams). The graduating senior class for the Cougars lost only eight times in conference over the last three years, and Thursday night will be the first marker of whether this will be a season in which they reload or rebuild. For the Huskies, an opening-night win shouts a clear declaration they are serious contenders for the conference crown.

The two teams also play Feb. 18 in Mankato.

Jan. 26 vs. Rochester Mayo — The identity this season for the Spartans will undoubtedly be different. Gabe and Mason Madsen are both gone and at the University of Cincinnati (Gabe has opted out of the 2020-21 season, Mason is still with the Bearcats), and the father of the high-flying twins, Luke, stepped down as the program’s head coach after last season. Without those leaders, Rochester Mayo will be relying on last season’s supporting cast of Michael Sharp, Mo Hammadelniel and Andre Crockett — all senior guards that were last season’s highest scorers not named Madsen — to evolve into leading roles if the program hopes to maintain its second-place standing in the conference. Last year, Owatonna lost both matchups, first 100-86 and second 75-73. This will be the only regular-season game between the two teams this season.

Feb. 8 at Austin — Last season’s third-place finisher in the Big 9 graduated a sizable senior class, but as has become tradition, has subbed in another large senior group in its place. Agwa Nywesh, the offense fire starter last year has moved on, but senior guard Okey Okey and senior forward Teyghan Hovland — the second- and third-leading scorers last season behind Nywesh — are both back for this season. A season ago, the Huskies struggled to a 72-48 defeat in Owatonna before earning one of their biggest victories with a 60-59 triumph in Austin thanks to 22 points from Dushek and 19 via Beyer. This will be the only matchup between the two teams this season.

Reach Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106 or follow him on Twitter @APGSoMnHughes. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Sports Editor for the Northfield News. Also a California native looking for tips on surviving the winter and an Indiana University grad on the quest for a good breaded pork tenderloin.

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