March 24, 2018 07:38 PM
Delano completed its dramatic season of turn-around by recording the historic feat of winning the program’s first boys basketball state championship. On Feb. 8, the Tigers were a game above .500 at 10-9. In the final 13 games, Delano was 11-2, a stretch that culminated with a 65-61 victory over Columbia Heights in the Class AAA championship at Target Center.
Senior Keegan O’Neill, a 6-foot-8 forward, scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the unseeded Tigers (21-11) staged a ferocious second-half comeback to storm past the No. 4-seeded Hylanders (22-7).
Senior guard Calvin Wishart finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. He made a key steal on a late Columbia Heights possession, and then made a free throw with 10.5 seconds left in regulation time.
Delano trailed by 13 points at the half and then outscored the Hylanders by 45-28 in the second half. Early in the second half, Delano forged a 46-all tie following two free throws from junior guard Derek Techam. Moments later, Wishart created another tie on a putback.
With 4:31 left in regulation, Wishart pushed Delano’s lead to a game-high six after a free throw made it 59-53. Columbia Heights, the Class AAA runner-up to Orono in 2011, climbed to within 62-61 after a putback by senior guard Quentin Hardrict.
Senior center Wendell Matthews led the Hylanders with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Hardrict, senior guard Deundra Roberson and junior forward Jarvis Wright all contributed 10 points each.
Created: March 24, 2018 07:38 PM
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