Junior forward Connor Schwob powered past Delano's Trey Longstreet for two of his 17 second-half points in Waconia's 87-84 victory. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Waconia's PJ Hayes followed the ball after he was knocked to the court. Hayes scored a game-high 34 points. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
It looked like it would be a night of celebration for Delano senior guard Derek Techam and the Tigers prior to Tuesday’s game, Techam and his father, Terry, who coaches the team, were honored as part of senior night festivities.
But when the final buzzer sounded at Delano High School, it was a different father-son combination celebrating. After trailing by 10 points at halftime, PJ Hayes and Waconia pawed its way back to pick up a key road victory, as the Wildcats defeated Delano 87-84.
Hayes, a junior and the son of Waconia coach Pat Hayes, is a prolific scorer. PJ came into Tuesday averaging 23.5 points per game. Techam, a McDonald award semifinalist, is also formidable offensively, as he came in averaging 24.2 points per game.
“They’re definitely similar,” Pat said. “(Techam) has been around four years and we know how good he and Delano are.”
Two of Class 3A’s most prolific scorers took the floor on Tuesday with Waconia and Delano tipping off at Delano High School. The game did not disappoint, as the Wildcats rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to win 87-84.
Waconia (15-10, 6-3) turned to junior guard PJ Hayes for offense throughout the game. Hayes, who came in averaging a team-best 23.5 points per game, registered 34 points, including two late free throws to help ice the game for the Wildcats.
In the second half, Waconia got offense from other players. Junior forward Connor Schwob put in 17 second-half points and finished with 19. Senior guard Sam Nelson scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half.
Much like Waconia, Delano (17-8, 6-3) relied on a familiar face. Senior guard Derek Techam scored a team-high 30 points for the Tigers, who are ranked No. 10 in Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News. Sophomore guard Trey Longstreet tallied 19 points while junior forward Keagan Smith added 14.
With the win, Waconia avenges a 66-64 loss to Delano on Feb. 5. The teams are tied for second place in the Wright County Conference East Division standings, behind New Prague, which came into Tuesday undefeated in league play.
Delano's Trey Longstreet, left, and Keagen Smith got tangled up keeping a rebound away from Waconia's Eric Groeneveld (33). Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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