Orono, Litchfield, and Shakopee proved to be no match for the Waconia boys’ basketball team, which picked up three home wins last week and are now 13-4.
Waconia 67, Orono 62
Hosting Orono on Jan. 22, the Wildcats played a good first half of basketball, according to WHS head coach Pat Hayes.
“We moved the ball well and played pretty solid defense,” he said,
Holding a 31-25 lead at intermission, the Wildcats played more of the same in the second half to maintain the lead. Late in the game, however, Orono hit some big three-point shots, while Waconia’s shooting went cold, but Wildcat free throws by senior Matt Rachey would seal the win down the stretch.
Rachey led the team with 24 points, including a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line. Senior Alex Chandler (12), junior Ryan Boll (11), and junior Jacob Herd (10) also saw double-digit figures. As a team, the Wildcats shot 50 percent from the floor at 74 percent from the free throw line.
Rachey grabbed all four of the team’s steals, while Chandler (9), Ferron (9), and Boll (5) led in rebounds.
Waconia 48, Litchfield 47
Against Litchfield on Jan. 25, Hayes said the Wildcats played a good game against an excellent Dragon squad.
Opening a 26-11 lead in the first half, Waconia couldn’t extend the lead any, but still led 28-20 at the break. Hayes said the second half followed suit of the first, with Waconia leading (42-31 at one point), but allowing many open shots for Litchfield.
As the Dragons slowly caught up, and overtook, the Wildcats, Waconia failed to convert opportunities, Hayes said.
With 17 seconds left in the game, the Wildcats trailed Litchfield by two points. When just seven seconds remained in regulation, Boll kicked the ball out to Herd, who sunk a three-point shot for the lead and the victory, as Boll blocked the Dragons’ last-second attempt.
Boll led the team with 14 points, followed by Rachey (11), Chandler (8), and Herd (8).
Boll (8), Ferron (8), and Chandler (6) again combined for most of the team’s 26 rebounds. Rachey and Lenz snagged the team’s four steals.
Waconia 65, Shakopee 55
Hosting the Sabers in the Wildcats’ third game of the week, Hayes said he wasn’t sure what to expect from his team.
“[I] was pleased with our effort and energy throughout the game,” he said.
Thanks to some key three-point shots in the first half, the Wildcats were able to stay with Shakopee and trailed by just three at halftime (28-25). The Wildcats were able to get to ball more inside in the second half, beating Shakopee’s 2-3 zone, according to Hayes.
Late in the game, free throws proved key for the Wildcats. As a team, the Wildcats shot 73 percent from the free-throw line (16-22), helped much by Rachey (6-6), Chandler (5-5), Herd (2-2), and Lenz (2-3).
Waconia shot 43 percent from the floor, and was more successful from the arc (9-19) than from two-point range (11-28). Scoring leaders included Rachey (21), Chandler (13), Boll (12) and Lenz (11). Herd (5) and Ferron (3) also contributed.
Boll led with a team-high eight rebounds, followed by Ferron (6), Rachey (5), and Chandler (4). The Wildcats tallied 25 total rebounds and four steals.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com