Delano basketball teams rise up after hitting bump in the road
BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Both the Delano boys and girls basketball teams responded positively to low points in the season posting dominating victories last week.
After a 60-49 loss to Litchfield last week there was concern if the Delano boys would be able to avenge the only other loss against Mound-Westonka last Thursday.
Not only did the Tigers prove a point in the 76-50 victory over MW, the team also took down a strong Orono team 63-50. The point was to show why Delano had risen to be ranked No. 4 in the state.
The Tiger girls started the week by scoring just 36 points in the 22-point loss to Orono (58-36). The team did not stay down for long, responding with a 73-62 victory against Mound-Westonka and a 52-point romp over Blake (67-15) Saturday in a non-conference game.
Not only did Delano lose the girls game to Orono, it lost senior guard Katie Emmer to a hand injury. Coach Amy Gould said the injury to one of her team leaders will take several weeks to heal.
“Sophomore Kalley Koch has filled in well, helping with ball handling, attacking the basket and using her smarts on defense,” notes Gould. “She slots nicely into Emmer’s starting role and helped us in our Mound victory with 14 points.”
The Tigers nearly had five players in double figures against MW, led by sophomore Alex Wittinger with 22 points, sophomore Bria Barfnecht 12 and sophomore Brooke Lemke 11.
Wittinger netted 25 points against Blake and is averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Gould was able to play all on varsity and look at different player combinations to make up for the loss of Emmer, who was second in team scoring, averaging nearly 10 points per game. She also has a “quick disruptive defensive presence.”
The Tiger boys built a 19-point lead early in the second half against MW. Coach Terry Techam said the team had been struggling rebounding the last couple of games, but “did an excellent job on the boards against Mound.”
Toby Hanson led with 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Dalton Pulis had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Damon Longstreet scored 14 points with seven rebounds and Zach Checkal added 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Pulis hit two big 3-point baskets at the end of the first half to build a 6-point lead against Orono, who kept battling back and took the lead at 52-51. The Tigers went on a 12-7 run to seal the win.
Hanson had 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. Pulis scored 18 points with 10 rebounds, Longstreet netted 13 points and Checkal grabbed nine rebounds to go with nine points and seven assists.
The boys are home to Annandale Friday, Feb. 15 and against Holy Family Tuesday, Feb. 19. The girls play at Annandale Friday and Holy Family Tuesday.