BY DAVE PEDERSEN
Both Delano basketball coaches liked what they saw in early season games when the Tiger boys dominated in two victories and the girls also showed some force in winning its opener by 23 points.
Junior guard Brooke Lemke scored 21 points to lead a balanced offensive attack in the 69-46 victory over Mayer Lutheran Saturday to start the season on a positive note. Three other juniors also sparked the offense, including Alex Wittinger with 15 points, Kalley Koch 10 and Brian Barfnecht 9.
Coach Amy Gould said her players converted tips, steals and deflections into layups and Lemke led the way by attacking the rim. Gould adds how ninth-graders Erin Norling and Tori Hanson fit right in, contributing in “the little ways we like to see” such as assists, rebounds, solid ball handling and defensive stops.
The Tigers play at Monticello Dec. 5, are home to St. Cloud Apollo Dec. 6, home to Big Lake Dec. 10 and home to Rockford Dec. 12 in a neighborhood rivalry game.
The boys opened with a 71-34 victory over New Ulm the day before Thanksgiving. Coach Terry Techam said the game was close for the first 10 minutes as the Tigers struggled from the free throw line, going one for 10. Delano got more aggressive creating steals that led to break away lay-ups. The Tigers roared to a 41-21 halftime lead.
Damon Longstreet scored 17 points in the first half, finishing with 24 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Sean Campbell netted 14 points with eight rebounds. Toby Hanson contributed 13 points, eight assists and had four steals. Seth Norling added eight points and four steals, while Seth MacLeod grabbed nine rebounds.
Delano also had a dominating 78-50 win over Watertown-Mayer Saturday at home. The Tigers got off to a much better start, going up 9-0 and 20-5 early. A stingy defense limited Watertown to 16 points in the first half. Teams combined to shoot 60 free throws as Delano shot 44, going 30 for 44.
Hanson scored 24 points with seven rebounds, three steals, and four assists. Longstreet provided 12 points and eight rebounds. Also in double figures was Sean Campbell with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Matt Kreklow made his presence felt by scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds. Norling battled foul trouble, but scored all seven points from the free throw line in eight attempts. MacLeod took down 10 more rebounds.
Delano is home to Monticello Dec. 5 before going to face Big Lake Dec. 10.