There wasn’t a tougher team to figure out in Class 3A during the regular season than Waconia. It appears to have righted the ship.

The Wildcats, in defeating conference foe Orono 73-68 on Wednesday in the Class 3A quarterfinal at Williams Arena, won their fourth consecutive game, their longest streak of the year.

Waconia (17-13) endured losing streaks of five and three games during the season. They opened the year as a top-10 team.

“It’s definitely been a roller coaster ride,” said Wildcats senior forward Oliver Smith, who had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs. We’re on an upswing right now.” 

Junior guard Joey Kortuem led the Wildcats’ balanced attack with 20 points. They had four players in double figures.

“Our ultimate goal was to get to the state tournament,” Smith said. “We’re in crunch time.”

Orono senior guard Cole Hennings and junior forward Samuel Sustacek each had 18 points. The Spartans finished the season with a 24-6 record.