ST. PAUL — Orono and Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato know each other well from playing two games annually during the regular season, as members of the Wright County Conference.
The Spartans and Dragons met for a third time this year, this time on the grandest stage, at the Xcel Energy Center Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the Class A state tournament.
As was the case during the regular season, Orono came out with the victory, this time by a 6-1 score.
After a scoreless first period, the Spartans (21-7-1) scored three goals in the opening four minutes of the second period to take control of the game. They play top-seeded Mahtomedi Friday at 11 a.m.
L/DC (16-12-1) falls to the consolation bracket. The Dragons play Mankato East/Loyola Thursday at 10 a.m. at Mariucci Arena.
Orono defeated L/DC 10-0 and 7-1 during the regular season.
An 89-68 win over Becker in the quarterfinals of the Section 5AAA tournament advanced Delano to the semifinals.
The Tigers go to St. Cloud State’s Halenbeck Hall, where they will play Monticello at 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Delano is the No. 2 seed for the tournament, and enters the game with a 16-11 record.
Monticello is the No. 3 seed, and enters the game with a 19-8 record.
The other semifinal game has No. 1 Willmar playing No. 5 Big Lake at 2 p.m. Saturday in St. Cloud.
The Section 5AAA championship game is Thursday, March 15, at St. Cloud State.
DELANO — The Delano boys basketball team opens the Section 5AAA playoffs tonight at home against Becker.
The host Tigers (15-11) are the No. 2 seed for the tournament. The visiting Bulldogs (11-14) are No. 7.
The other first-round game in Delano’s half of the bracket has No. 3 Monticello (17-9) hosting No. 6 Rocori (6-20).
In the other half of the bracket, No. 1 Willmar (24-2) hosts No. 8 Zimmerman (8-18), and No. 4 Dassel-Cokato (15-9) hosts No. 5 Big Lake (9-17).
The semifinal games are Saturday afternoon, March 10, at St. Cloud State. The championship game is Thursday, March 15, at St. Cloud State.
Delano wrestlers Reier Sjomeling, Tanner Kroells and Steven Hajas begin their runs in the Class AA State Tournament Friday morning at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Class AA first round begins at 9 a.m.
Sjomeling (27-10), a junior, will be the first Tiger to hit the mat, when he wrestles at 113 pounds. He starts his first state tournament against Dassel-Cokato eighth-grader Jude Link (31-9).
Kroells and Hajas will wrestling in their third-consecutive state tournaments.
Kroells (37-3), a junior, is the No. 1 seed at 138 pounds. His first-round draw is Detroit Lakes junior Fabyon Greer (29-8).
Hajas (30-2) is the No. 2 seed at 220 pounds. The junior opens his tournament against Pierz junior Carson Huls (35-6).
The Class AA championship quarterfinals begin at 4 p.m. Friday, and wrestlebacks for all three classes come later in that session.
For all classes Saturday, the consolation quarterfinals begin at 9 a.m., with the championship semifinals and consolation semifinals to follow in that session.
The final session of the tournament begins at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. It begins with the third- and fifth-place matches of all three classes, with the championship matches for all three classes to follow.