Two road games last week against tough opponents proved to be no problem for the Waconia boys’ basketball team. Defeating Hutchinson and Bloomington Kennedy, the Wildcats are now 9-2 this season and are ranked No. 3 in Class 3A.
Waconia 75, Hutchinson 54
In their first Wright County – East game of the season, the Wildcats took down Hutchinson on the road on Jan. 8. A solid conference and section win, Waconia head coach Pat Hayes said the team play well in both halves, with solid defense from start to finish.
“Balanced scoring was also a good sign that we played unselfish basketball,” he said.
The ‘Cats led by 15 at halftime (39-24) and continued to lead in the second half, outscoring Hutchinson 36-30.
Shooting was down a little for the Wildcats, who shot 46 percent from the floor, making 30 of 65 shots. Four Wildcats found themselves in double digits including senior Wylie Ferron (19), senior Matt Rachey (14), junior Ryan Boll (12), and senior Josh Lenz (10).
Waconia continued to shoot well from the free throw line, making 13 of 18 shots (72 percent).
Lenz grabbed three of the team’s eight steals, while Rachey, sophomore Avery Talton, senior Brian Porter, and senior Alex Chandler snagged the others.
The Wildcats collected 42 total rebounds, led by Boll (9) and senior Austin Fuller (8).
Waconia 49, Kennedy 47
At Bloomington Kennedy on Jan. 12, Hayes called the game “tough” as neither team could find a rhythm.
“We played good defense throughout the game and rebounded the ball defensively to keep Kennedy from second chance points,” he said.
Kennedy led by one at halftime, 27-26, but the Wildcats kept with the Eagles in the second half. The win was sealed for Waconia on a defensive stopped that forced the Eagles to take a long three-point shot for the win, a shot that missed its mark.
Six Wildcats scored against Kennedy, and as a team shot 40 percent from the field. Boll (12) and Rachey (10) were the team’s offensive leaders, supported by points from Chandler (8), Ferron (8), Lenz (5), junior Jacob Herd (4), and junior Tommy Gove (2).
Chandler (12) and Ferron (6) combined for 18 of the team’s 28 rebounds.
The Wildcats will host No. 9 (4A) Eden Prairie tonight.
Gove went down with an ACL knee injury at Bloomington Kennedy. It is unsure when, or if, he will return to the court this season.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com