Waconia vs. Delano

7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13

The way Waconia coach Pat Hayes sees it, players such as Wildcats junior Spencer Swanson and Delano senior Terron O'Neill are weather vanes, indicators of a successful program.

Swanson, a 6-foot-5 forward, was a JV player a year ago; O'Neill was a role player averaging 5.7 points a game. Both are key ingredients in the Wright County Conference East Division leaders' success this season.

"I think you see that with good programs," Hayes said. "Some guys just have to wait their turn, and when they get there they have a lot of support to help them succeed."

PJ Hayes IV continues to be the pulse of the No. 6-3A Wildcats (15-4, 5-0), averaging 22.3 points per game after producing 23.8 as a junior. Swanson (14.5 ppg) has been effective with the ball, and Connor Schwob (10.8 ppg) has helped, too.

At No. 7-3A Delano (17-2, 5-0), O'Neill (21.5 ppg) has taken over for Derek Techam as the team's top scorer. "He has had an excellent season and is doing a tremendous job of moving without the ball to get opportunities to score," Tigers coach Terry Techam said of O'Neill.

Having veteran players such as Trey Longstreet (14.6 ppg) and Keagan Smith (18.6 ppg) to lead the way has created a lot of opportunities for O'Neill.