Wildcats end season at Delano

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The Waconia boys basketball season came to an end March 8, as the Wildcats fell at the hands of the Delano Tigers 72-56. The game seemed to mirror the ‘Cats season, as a resurgence nearly overcame a rough start.

“The first 7 minutes was unfortunate, but it was indicative of our season,” coach Pat Hayes said.

Waconia, a team that started the season 7-10 before rising into the top-tier of teams with a top-ten ranking, looked to overcome another slow start.

The ‘Cats looked out of sorts early, which led to a 28-4 start for the Delano Tigers. Waconia trailed by 24 points early, yet managed to cut the deficit to single digits before the game was over.

After the slow start, the Wildcats started cutting to the basket and getting layups inside.

“We stopped standing around and started moving the ball,” Hayes said.

Waconia cut the lead to 12 at the break, before getting to within seven points to force a Delano timeout in the second half. While the ‘Cats were within striking distance, they had used all of their energy to get back in the game.

“When we did get the game close, we just didn’t have the energy left,” Hayes said.

Dillon Whittaker and Carter Damlo finished the game as Waconia’s leading scorers, posting 12 and 10 points.

Nick Fulford led the team with seven rebounds and Whittaker had a team-high seven assists.

Waconia, the No. 5 seed, lost to the No. 4 seeded Tigers, ending the ‘Cats season. Though the year ended with a loss, the ‘Cats put together an impressive run to end the season.

“Our team did a lot of good things,” Hayes said. “You would have liked to see what this team is capable of. The guys worked hard, but they were a few things away from being a competitive team throughout the season.”