Chanhassen and Minneapolis Washburn fell to the Waconia boys’ basketball team in the Wildcats’ opening week of the season.
Taking down the Storm 76-66 on Nov. 26, both teams struggled early offensively, leaving fans with a score of just 1-0 after nearly seven minutes of play. WHS head coach Pat Hayes said solid defense kept the ‘Cats in the game until the nerves settled and shots started to sink. By halftime, Waconia led 33-24.
In the second half, scoring was nearly even as Waconia put up 43 points to Chanhassen’s 42. The ‘Cats would win 76-66, thanks to four players scoring double digits. Seniors Jacob Herd and Tommy Gove led the charge with 19 and 17 points, respectively, followed by sophomore Joey Kortuem (14) and senior Mike Vigil (11). Gove had three steals, while Kortuem, junior Oliver Smith, and junior Cole Peters each had two.
“Glad to see Tommy Gove come back from ACL surgery last season to have a solid first game,” Hayes said. “We defended well enough and made free throws to seal the win.”
Rebound leaders against Chanhassen included Kortuem (8), Peters (6), and senior Ryan Boll (5).
In stark contrast to the Chanhassen game, the Wildcats started off strong at Minneapolis Washburn on Nov. 30.
Thanks to 21 points from Boll in the first half alone, the ‘Cats led 50-27 at the break. Washburn really put the pressure on WHS in the second half, outscoring WHS 48-36, but Waconia was able to hold on for the victory.
Hayes was pleased with the win over a fellow Section 6AAA team.
“We did a good job of handling their pressure throughout the second half and I was pleased with our main ball handlers as they were harassed all second half as the game became very physical,” he said. “Pleased with the win and how our team responded not only to the big lead, but withstanding Washburn’s run at the end.”
Boll totaled 34 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals during the game to lead all categories. Also contributing significant points were Gove (16), Herd (13), and Kortuem (11).
Peters and Royce Marker each had five rebounds.
The Wildcats are on the road next week at Shakopee (Dec. 12), St. Louis Park (Dec. 13), and at a Minnetonka tournament over the weekend.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]