With conference wins last week over Mound-Westonka and Hutchinson, the No. 8 (3A) Waconia boys’ basketball team is still tied for the top of the Wright County Conference. Locked in a stalemate with No. 4 (3A) Delano, both teams are 5-1, but not for long. The Tigers and the Wildcats faced off Tuesday, Feb. 12, to declare one leader of the WCC – East.
Update: Waconia lost to Delano 58-57 on Feb. 12. The Wildcats are now 5-2 in the WCC, while Delano is 6-1, with just a few conference games remaining for both teams.
To get to that place, the Wildcats picked up two conference wins last week to improve to 17-4 this season, after having won their last eight games.
Waconia 73, M-W 56
The Wildcats picked up a win at Mound-Westonka on Feb. 5, after holding a wide 41-22 halftime lead. Waconia head coach Pat Hayes said the key was the team’s defense and ability to attack the middle of the White Hawks’ zone.
In the second half, the Wildcats kept the momentum of the game in their favor and made free throws to solidify the victory.
With a sizzling 91 percent success rate at the charity line, the Wildcats sunk 19 of 21 free throws. Waconia was 25-43 from the floor (58 percent), led by junior Ryan Boll with 20 points.
Junior Jacob Herd (13), senior Matt Rachey (12), and senior Alex Chandler (11) also found themselves in double digits.
Rebound leaders included Rachey (6), senior Wylie Ferron (6), Chandler (4), and sophomore Avery Talton (4). Senior Josh Lenz snagged four of the team’s nine steals.
Waconia 46, Hutch 39
Traveling to Hutchinson on Feb. 8, the Tigers put the Wildcats in a bit of a first half pickle. By mixing up man and zone defenses, Hutchinson stopped Waconia from getting into an offensive rhythm and the Wildcats trailed 21-17 at the break.
In the second half, the Wildcats put together a more aggressive offense and took to the basket when opportunity presented itself to win the game 46-39.
The ‘Cats were 14-35 from the floor (40 percent) and 17-23 (74 percent) from the free throw line. Ferron led Waconia’s charge with 14 points and six rebounds. Boll contributed 11 points and snagged a team-high 11 boards. Rachey and Herd both scored seven points. Herd led the team with two steals, one coming late in the game to seal the win.
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