Delano lives at the charity stripe

Westward ho as I make the trip to Delano. With a big section wrestling event in the main athletic venue, we're stuck in the back at the "old" gym. This feels like an elementary school game with a bigger set of bleachers (only 1 side with the wall right up against the far sideline). All of the city coaches from section 6AAA are in the building watching along with some of the players from Mound-Westonka. Waconia, you have to feel left out of this one.

Darius Clare of Delano with a putback at the 15:10 mark for an early 5-1 Tigers lead. Slow pace to this one with Delano playing zone and their motion offense on the other end. 5 in a row from Holy Angels includes a Cole Frechette bomb for an 8-7 Holy Angels lead at 12:30. The teams proceed to trade the lead by 1 until Christian Larson makes 2 FTs at the 3:54 mark for a 16-13 Holy Angels lead. Darius Clare gone to the bench at the 4:21 mark. Kyle Kreklow with a free throw and a triple. 17-16 Delano at the 3 minute mark. Joey Offerdahl puts back a miss and its 22-20 Delano at the half. Offerdahl with 7, Kreklow with 6 points and 7 rebounds.

Jay Stevens with a hoop and a Joe Silhaeck layin at the 14:30 mark (remember that) push the Delano lead to 29-22. Bonzi Wells (Sahr Ngekia) with a 2 and a putback and Tyler Emanuel with a 3 for Holy Angels in an 8-1 run to tie the game at 30 with 10:45 remaining. Mike Yahnke with 3 of 4 FTs and 2 bonus FTs from Kyle Kreklow at 9:20 make it 35-30 Delano. Clare with 2 FTs at 7:26 before he picks up his 4th foul 10 seconds later. 37-30 Delano. Larson with a layup and 2 FTs for AHA to cut the Delano lead to 40-36 with 4:21 remaining. Kreklow 3 of 4 from the stripe, 43-36 with 2:29 to play. Center Andy Jirik banks in a 17 foot jumper with 1:45 remaining and that demonstrates the level of offense in this one. 43-38 Delano. Clare with 2 FTs with 36 seconds left for a 47-41 Delano lead. Tyler Emanuel counters with a 3 with 27 seconds left to cut the lead in half. Jay Stevens fouled immediately and he bounces in the 1st free throw. He misses the 2nd but Mike Yahnke tips out the miss for Delano. Stevens fouled again with 20 seconds left and he misses both. AHA still has life. Larson with 1 of 2 FTs with 12 seconds left and RD Brown gets the rebound and is fouled. 48-45 Delano with 10 seconds left. Brown misses both free throws though. Kreklow makes 2 with 9 seconds left to seal it. Delano wins 50-47.

For Holy Angels, this loss breaks a 4 game winning streak after a 3-16 start. Unfortunately, they'll likely draw Washburn in the 1st round of 6AAA play. Washburn beat them at AHA 78-49 on January 20th but this is a different AHA team now. Tyler Emanuel with 11 points, Andy Jirik with 10 points.

For Delano, they're now 19-3 and are still 1 game behind Waconia for 2nd in the Wright County (teams split the season series and have very close QRFs). Delano with only 2 field goals in the entire 2nd half and they both came in a 30 second stretch. No FGs in the last 14:30. 27 of their 50 points and 24 of 28 in the 2nd half came via FTs. Kyle Kreklow with 15 points on 12-18 FTs (27-42 FTs for the team). Delano with a big lineup for the stretch run. This is a nice way to use their talent. 6'7 Kyle Kreklow at the point, 6'4 leaper Darius Clare at the 3, 6'7 Mike Yahnke at the 4 and 6'7 Joey Offerdahl in the middle with a guard at the 2. I believe Yahnke was the only bench player who played for them in this one. But when you play 2-3 or 1-3-1 zone all night, you can shorten the bench.

Seeding in section 6AAA will be very interesting. Take Waconia and Delano. Those 2 teams will be very interesting as Waconia is 17-6 and 1 game ahead of 19-3 Delano in the Wright County with both teams being almost equal in the QRF. I'm guessing they go 2 and 3 (Waconia #2) with a DLS vs BSM rematch in the 4 vs 5 game (read about the 1st meeting here). Orono, Mound-Westonka and AHA would be 6-8 if I had to seed it today. BSM is #12 in the QRF and if they beat Cooper on Friday, who knows if something could change. It does seem somewhat criminal to put the #12 QRF team as a 5 seed though. That said, there are 3 in front of them and DLS while behind, did win the 1st matchup at BSM rather easily but Peter Crawford didn't play.

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