Archive for DEL Sports

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.

STATE HOCKEY: Delano edges Hutch; will play Monticello in consolation championship

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

St. Paul — It is not easy to beat a team three times in one season.

Delano found that out Thursday afternoon in the consolation semifinals, when it found itself in a battle with Wright County Conference foe Hutchinson for survival in the Class A state tournament.

It took a Cade Lommel save on a penalty shot with 50 seconds remaining in regulation and an overtime goal from Adam Brown for Delano to finally put Hutchinson away 6-5.

The win did give Delano three wins over Hutchinson. During the regular season, Delano won 2-1 at home and 3-1 at Hutchinson.

The win put Delano in a similar spot, the consolation championship game.

That’s where the Tigers finished its previous two trips to state, winning the game in both 2017 and 2019.

This time around, Delano will play Monticello at 3M Arena at Mariucci. The puck drops at 10 a.m.

Monticello got to the final game of the consolation round with a 6-1 win over Mankato East/Loyola Thursday morning.

STATE WRESTLING: Tschudi, Hajas medal at state

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

ST. PAUL — Delano’s Carson Tschudi finished his junior season as the fourth-place wrestler at 145 pounds in the Class AA State Tournament Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.

Senior Edward Hajas ended his high school wrestling career with a fifth-place finish at 220 pounds.

Tschudi and Hajas were both making return trips to state. They were two of Delano’s four wrestlers who competed.

Seniors Matt Baker (285) and Tyson Kroells (120) each wrestled on the state mats for the first time. Neither found the medal podium.


STATE SWIMMING: Five state medals for Tigers

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

MINNEAPOLIS — The Delano/Watertown-Mayer (DWM) swimmers claimed five state medals Feb. 29 at the Class A State Swimming & Diving Championships at the UofM Aquatic Center.

Sophomore Nick Black and junior Colby Kern both claimed three medals.

Black’s fourth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke was the top finish for a DWM swimmer on championship day. Black’s time was 53.39 seconds.

Breck/Blake’s Charlie Crosby won backstroke with the time of 48.51 seconds.

It was Black’s second medal of the meet. He opened with an eighth-place medal in the 200 medley relay. Black ended the day with an eighth-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.

Black swam the 100 freestyle at the prelims Friday, Feb. 28, but did not advance on to Saturday’s meet. He finished 18th with the time of 49.49 seconds.

Black, Gentry Nuytten, Joe Coyle and Kaden Georges combined for the eighth-place finish in the medley relay at the state finals. Their time was 1:42.85.

Breck/Blake won the medley relay with the time of 1:32.66.

Georges, Per Anderson, Black and Kern finished eighth with the time of 3:20.37 in the 400 relay.

Winona won the 400 with the time of 3:05.61.

Kern’s first state medal was for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle. He backed that with a seventh-place finish in the 100 freestyle. Kern’s 200 time was 1:45.31. His 100 time was 48.16 seconds.

Winona’s Jack Herczeg took the first-place medals in both the 200 and 100. His 200 time was 1:40.29. His 100 time was 44.65 seconds, which is an automatic all-American time.

Kern, Anderson, Georges and Will Merten finished 10th overall in the 200 freestyle relay. Their consolation heat time was 1:30.90.

Nuytten swam in the consolation heat of the 200 individual medley. His time Saturday was 2:04.77. That placed him 13th overall.