by DAVE PEDERSEN
It usually is not big news when a team suffers a loss, but it is when it is the first of a great season so far. After winning 10 straight, Delano lost 69-65 to Mound-Westonka in boys basketball last week.
It for sure was big news when senior Zach Checkal scored point number 1,000 for his Tiger career in the 77-37 win over Dassel-Cokato Friday.
“We got off to a slow start down 17-6 early, but we battle back to tie the game at halftime (27-27),” said coach Terry Techam about the loss to MW. “We took a six-point lead in the second half, but a combination of turnovers and missed free throws helped Mound come back and win the game.”
Checkal powered the offense with 26 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and four assists. Toby Hanson had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Damon Longstreet added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Delano bounced back to dominate at DC and win by 40 points. The Tigers got off to an 18-2 start and were up 45-19 at halftime.
Checkal needed 23 points to go over 1,000 and he had 20 at halftime. The senior scored the team’s first two baskets of the second half to become the fifth player in Delano boys basketball history to go over 1,000 points.
He finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Dalton Pulis scored 15 points and Hanson added 10 points and six assists.
Delano is home to St. Cloud Apollo Friday, Jan. 18, at Holy Family Tuesday, Jan. 22 and home to New London-Spicer Thursday, Jan. 24.
Four Tiger players average in double figures. Checkal is at 21.8 points per game, followed by Hanson at 14.2, Pulis 12.2 and Longstreet at 10.2. Adam Schleper is close behind at 8.1.
Delano girls basketball did the opposite as the boys, defeating Mound-Westonka 57-43 and losing to Dassel-Cokato 64-46.
Alex Wittinger had 13 points and 13 rebounds against MW. Brooke Lemke added 13 points and Tayler Hedtke pulled down 14 rebounds.
Wittinger and Bria Barfnecht both netted 10 points against DC, while Lemke and Savanah Bettin both had nine points.
“We have three 6-footers and still got outrebounded by Dassel-Cokato,” said coach Amy Gould. “We forced 17 turnovers in the first half, but didn’t put the ball in the hole. They had a great shooting night and we were off completely. We made just 8 of 24 free throw attempts.”
The next game is Tuesday, Jan. 22 at home against Holy Family. Delano plays at New London-Spicer Jan. 25.
Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]