Archive for Matt Kane

Delano B2 Squirts win D3 Championship

The Delano Squirt B2 team defeated Wayzata/Navy in an overtime thriller March 7 to take the District 3 championship.

Team members include are  (front row from left) Danny Franklin, Briar Bekkala, Johnny McCabe, Beau Haukos, Charlie Reiffenberger, Lincoln Truax, Austin Kazin and Drake Hawkins; second row: Keegan Erdman, Brody Roers, Mason Mattson and Tyler Malo; and coaches Brian Roers, Marc Hawkins (head coach), Bryan Franklin, Ben Mattson and Troy Malo.  Not pictured are  Austin Oeffling and coach Kary Oeffling.

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Monke an assistant coach of the year

Matt Kane
Sports Editor
DELANO — The Delano basketball team was supposed to end its season at the Class 3A state tournament for the fourth time in the school’s history and the third time under current coach Terry Techam and his coaching staff. That of course did not happen, as the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly ended the winter sports season and is continually taking a bigger bite out of the spring season.
Delano was one of the last teams to play a game before the Minnesota State High School League shuttered the remainder of the season. The Tigers defeated Fridley March 12 at St. Michael-Albertville High School to claim the Section 5-3A championship and the state berth that goes with it. A day later, with several sections yet to have been decided, the league announced that the season was over immediately.
The Tigers finished with a 25-4 record.
The season record and the state tournament will forever fall under the impressive list of accomplishments for coach Techam, but he and all head coaches know that a successful season comes from the working hands of the assistant coaches as much as it does the head coach.
For his work this year, Techam’s assistant Jason Monke was noticed and honored by the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association with his inclusion on the list of the 2019-20 Assistant Coaches of the Year.
Monke is one of 10 coaches from all classes on the list.
“This was very unexpected, but I am very honored to be one of the coaches awarded with Assistant Coach of the Year,” he said. “It means a lot to me because I am so proud to be a part of our boys basketball program here in Delano.”
Delano assistant coach Jason Monke waits out the final seconds of Delano's section win over Fridley with seniors Keagen Smith and Jack Balsiger March 12 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. Monke was named to the list of Assistant Coaches of the Year for his work with the Tigers. (Photo by Matt Kane)

Delano assistant coach Jason Monke waits out the final seconds of Delano’s section win over Fridley with seniors Keagen Smith and Jack Balsiger March 12 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. Monke was named to the list of Assistant Coaches of the Year for his work with the Tigers.
(Photo by Matt Kane)

Monke just completed his 10th season as an assistant at Delano, and his 25th season of coaching overall.
“Coach Techam and coach (Jamie) Longstreet are absolutely phenomenal to work with, and the student athletes we are fortunate enough to work with here are second to none,” said Monke.
Monke paid his dues, coaching at all levels. He has coached grades 7-12 for both boys and girls in his 25 years. Monke has coached in New England and North Dakota (Kulm and Washburn). Before arriving at Delano, he coached in Minnesota at Royalton and Sauk Centre.
Also, Techam was named the Section 5-3A coach of the year, and Delano was the section academic team champion.
2019-20 ASSISTANT COACHES OF THE YEAR
Mark Haddorf — Lakeville North
Christopher Johnson — Minneapolis North
Darin Johnson — Minnewaska
Jason Monke — Delano
Dillon Naumann — Princeton
Matt Norton — St. Francis
Chandler Sentell — Minnehaha Academy
Steven Sjostrand — Kittson Central
Lee VanNyhuis — Osakis
Tony Yazbeck — Cretin-Derham Hall
2019-20 COACHES OF THE YEAR
Class AAAA: David Flom — Eden Prairie
Class AAA: Omar McMillan — Richfield
Class AA: Brad King — Caledonia
Class A: Wade Grinde — Spring Grove

Wishart enters transfer portal

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic may have abruptly cut off the finish to his sophomore season at Georgia Southern, but former Delano standout Calvin Wishart has stayed deeply focused on the game of basketball. His quarantine in Statesboro, GA has not been filled with video games and Netflix. Instead, game films from teams across the country have stolen the screen on his flatscreen television.

Wishart-CWishart is busy studying potential suitors for his services as a Division 1 junior guard next season after he officially put his name in the transfer portal Monday, announcing so on his Twitter account.
“I’ve been talking nonstop yesterday and today to, like, 20 schools,” Wishart said over the phone Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve been watching film on schools. It’s literally been nonstop — hang up and you missed a call.”
Wishart made his decision following the departure of head coach Mark Byington, who recruited Wishart out of Delano. Byington accepted the coaching job at James Madison. His assistants are also leaving Georgia Southern.
“I came here for a lot of reasons. One of the main reasons was the coaching staff and how much trust they had in me coming out of high school. Now, that is gone,” Wishart explained. ”You go to a school for a reason and that reason was taken away.”
Byington’s departure was not only hard on Wishart.
Just two days after Wishart announced his decision, his former teammate Quan Jackson became the second Eagle to enter the transfer portal following the departure of Byington.
The transfer portal allows players, like Wishart, to keep their options open to find a better spot, just as coaches do. It’s like recruiting and being recruited all over again.
“With the new coach, with whom I have no relationships with, instead of one option with him, I can still come back to the school or pursue other options” Wishart explained.
In recruiting college players out of the transfer portal, coaches have a better idea about what they are getting.
“It’s more intense. It is a lot more in a shorter period of time,” Wishart explained. “Now that you’ve played college basketball, they can see your college film. It’s not as big of a gamble to some of these coaches.”
As mentioned, Georgia Southern is still in the mix. Although Wishart has not spoken with him in person (only on the phone), new coach Brian Burg is recruiting Wishart. Others Wishart named from his list are Minnesota, South Dakota, South Dakota State, North Dakota, Northern Illinois, Texas Tech, Santa Clara and George Washington.
Wishart knows what he wants.
“I want to play a lot of minutes. If I would stay at Georgia Southern, I would play 30-plus minutes,” he said. “I want to play a lot of minutes on a good team that can win a conference and go to the tournament.”
Wishart mentioned the constant support he has received from his friends back in Delano during his two years at Georgia Southern. That, too, is important in his decision, which he hopes to make in the next several weeks.

“I want to go to a spot that I can put on the map,” he said. “I want to go to a spot where Delano and Minnesota people can follow me. Since the state tournament run, it’s been nothing but love from home. I want to put a spot on the map, again.”

Wishart certainly helped put Delano on the map when it comes to high school basketball in the state of Minnesota.

Delano basketball fans remember Wishart for his four unprecedented seasons with the Tigers after he transferred from Buffalo following his 8th-grade school year. That tenure, of course, ended with Wishart being the program’s all-time leading scorer and the Tigers raising the Class 3A State Championship trophy at Target Center after a Cinderella run as the No. 6 seed for the tournament.
Wishart, Jackson and Georgia Southern were preparing to play in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals against top-seed Little Rock when the NCAA ended the remainder of the season due to the Coronavirus.
In what may have been his final game in an Eagles uniform, Wishart scored 10 points and  four rebounds March 11 in a 81-62 win over Georgia State in the Sun Belt quarterfinals.
Wishart started 23 games this season, and averaged 9.4 points and 27.7 minutes per game. His top scoring game of the season was 21 points Nov. 8 in Georgia Southern’s 109-55 win over Reinhardt.
Wishart started 16 games for the Eagles his freshman season, and appeared in 30 games. He averaged 5.2 points.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Tigers get back to state; find out a day later there is no state

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

DELANO — One day after finding out they would be headed back to state, the Delano Tiger basketball players found out there will be no state tournament to play in.

The Tigers defeated Fridley 80-51 Thursday night in the Section 5-3A championships game to qualify for what would have been the school’s four trip to the state tournament. Friday morning, it was declared by the Minnesota State High School League that all state tournaments, including the girls basketball tournament, which was underway, were cancelled immediately due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The high school league planned on announcing intentions for upcoming events and spring activities later Friday.

At the top of the home page of the Minnesota State High School League, it reads:

Effectively Immediately Friday, March 13, 2020 10:45 a.m.

The Minnesota State High School League is immediately cancelling the Girls Basketball State Tournament.

Additionally, all Boys Section and State Basketball Tournaments have been cancelled.

Section Speech Tournament events for the week of March 15-21 have been postponed indefinitely.

Additional details and information on other upcoming events including Spring Activities will be shared later today.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Delano playing for state berth; to meet Fridley Thursday

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

blog20shotST. MICHAEL — Delano made easy work Rocori in the Section 5-3A semifinals Friday night at St. Michael-Albertville High School, and will now play for the section championship.

The Tigers meet Fridley Thursday, March 12, at St. Michael-Albertville High School with a state-tournament berth on the line. The opening tap is at 7 p.m.

Delano defeated Rocori 65-46 in the early game of the semifinal round. Fridley followed with a not-so-easy 74-72 win over Monticello in the late game.

Delano (24-4) and Fridley (14-13) have not yet met this season.

The Tigers are playing for their fourth appearance in the state tournament, and third under coach Terry Techam.

Delano won the Class 3A championship in 2018. The Tigers also went in 2013 under Techam. Before that, Jerry Litfin took the Tigers to the 1993 tournament.

FEATURE: Lommel paid his dues

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

DELANO — “He’s been a rock for us all year. He has held us in so many games, and tonight was no different.”

These were the words spoken by Delano senior Michael Weber Feb. 26 following the Tigers’ 3-2 double-overtime win over Armstrong/Cooper in the Section 2A championship game when he was asked about goaltender Cade Lommel.

Photo by Matt Kane

Photo by Matt Kane

Lommel made 39 saves in the win, which put Delano in the state tournament for the third time in four season.

He is the third goalie to take the Tigers to state, following in line behind Jackson Hjelle (2017) and Aaron Kruse (2019).

“It’s an amazing group of goalies to play after. I am good friends with Jackson (Hjelle) and Aaron (Kruse),” Lommel said. “I saw Aaron after the game, and that was a special moment. He is a really good friend of mine.”

That deep friendship between Lommel and Kruse developed as the two battled for the starting spot a season ago.

Kruse was not the clear starter entering the 2018-19 season. Lommel started or played in seven of the Tigers’ first 12 games before Kruse took the spot, and carried Delano to  the state tournament.

Kruse finished with a 15-7-1 record and will be remembered in the annals of Delano hockey for his three shutouts in the Section 2A playoffs.

Lommel played in just three of Delano’s 19 remaining games, and finished with a 4-3-1 record.

Instead of sulking over his lack of playing time, Lommel became Kruse’s biggest fan.

“Last year, we had the opportunity to celebrate the teammate that Cade was in his support of Aaron, and we believe that helped Aaron play well once it was Aaron’s job,” said Delano coach Gerrit van Bergen after the win over Armstrong/Cooper. “Cade knew that, in a lot of ways, he was playing for Aaron tonight. And Aaron was here tonight, which is really special for the team and for Cade.”

Kruse couldn’t have asked for a better backup.

“Cade is probably the best teammate I’ve ever had. We both have a lot of respect for each other and nothing changed between us once I grabbed the starting job,” Kruse said. “He continued to support me in every way possible. He was always excited to see me or anyone on the team do well. He brought a positive attitude to the rink and worked hard every day, no matter the circumstance. I was extremely lucky to have him as my goalie partner.”

Lommel watched, learned, and supported his friend, as Kruse led the Tigers to the state tournament.

“He is great friends with Aaron, and Aaron taught him so much,” said van Bergen. “He admired Aaron and looked up to him, and he brought that into his game this year.”

At this year’s section final, the understudy was the star of the show.

As for standing tall in a tight section championship game, the humble Lommel wasn’t fast to put his performance at the level of Kruse’s 30-save performance a season ago in a 2-0 win over Orono.

“He had a shutout and I let up two goals, so I don’t know,” said Lommel, who will pitch at Creighton following his graduation this spring.

Kruse was impressed with Lommel’s performance.

“Cade played amazingly in the section final,” Kruse said. “He looked in control the entire game. The whole game he looked calm, and, in overtime when most people would tighten up, he kept his composure and stayed focused.”

Lommel’s current teammates know what he did for them against Armstrong/Cooper.

“Cade played a great game. We have to thank him,” said Jesse Peterson, who scored the double-overtime game-winner. “He played a great game.”

Lommel did see the Xcel Energy Center ice a season ago. He finished up the final few seconds for Kruse in a 6-4 loss to Greenway in the quarterfinals.