ARCHIVE PHOTO OF DALTON’S JALEN WENGER BY LISA McGINTY | LMc Photography
By ARIEL STAHLER
Gazette & News sports writer
The 2020-2021 WCAL championship belongs to the Dawgs. After wins over Hiland and Rittman, Dalton High School’s boys varsity basketball team finished with a WCAL record of 13-1 to win the WCAL title outright. This is the second consecutive season Dalton won the WCAL crown. They have an overall record of 16-4.
The Dawgs visited Hiland Feb. 16 and claimed a 75-62 win over the Hawks. Jalen Wenger powered Dalton with 32 points, five rebounds and four assists. Ezra Miller added 12 points and Jack Steiner contributed 10 points. Braylon Wenger and Jaiden Malone combined for 10 points. Liam Riggenbach scored seven points and pulled nine boards. Quentin Lehman and Kyrie Gaut both scored two points each.
Dalton’s 67-52 road victory over Rittman Feb. 19 was what the Dawgs needed to secure the WCAL championship. Jalen Wenger led his team to the win with 21 points. Steiner helped out with 16 points and six rebounds. Miller finished with 10 points, five boards and four assists. Riggenbach added six points. Braylon Wenger scored five points, along with pulling five boards. Gaut had three points. Dillon Horst, Malone and Jaden Schlabach all scored two points each.
Dalton’s head coach Kaleb Reed noted the areas his team excelled at during the game and what they are doing to prepare for the tournament.
“The team was very efficient offensively and did a good job of getting stops to extend our lead,” he said. “The kids are playing well as we get ready to head into tournaments. Tuesday we are playing a varsity-only game against Walsh Jesuit High School to prepare us for the level of competition we could see in the tournament.”
Dalton holds the No. 2 seed in the Division IV Northeast 3 sectional tournament. They will face the winner of No. 6 Cornerstone Christian/No. 10 Open Door Christian Feb. 26 in the sectional final.