PHOTOS BY LISA McGINTY | LMc Photography
Dalton’s Braylon Wenger contributed 39 points with four 3-pointers at Friday’s game against Waynedale.
Dalton’s Quentin Lehman
Dalton’s Jack Steiner
Dalton’s student section shows spirit on Construction Night.
By ARIEL STAHLER
DGKN sports writer
Dalton High School’s varsity boys basketball team secured important league wins over Smithville and Waynedale that not only improved their overall record to 7-6, but also kept them in the WCAL title hunt.
The Dawgs hosted Smithville Jan. 17 and Dalton won 55-50. Braylon Wenger guided the Dawgs with 28 points. Jack Steiner chipped in 14 points. Brady Hignight and Quentin Lehman both scored four points each. Keller McFarren knocked down one triple. Grayson Lehman scored two points.
“We picked up a big win that allowed us to stay in the league title race,” said Dalton’s head coach Justin Greenfelder. “We got off to a great start, but lost our focus in the third quarter on both ends of the floor.
“Smithville is a very well-coached team and they forced us out of our comfort zone on offense and really challenged us on defense,” Greenfelder continued. “In the end, we were able to get some key stops and execute when we needed to on offense. Braylon Wenger stepped up for us in the fourth quarter and made some big plays. He hit some key shots and was a catalyst on the defensive end. I also want to credit Jack Steiner, Ethan Stutz, Keller McFarren and Quentin Lehman for their hustle and hard work on the defensive end, which allowed us to get back in the game and pull out the win. It was a great team win.”
Dalton was visited by Waynedale Jan. 20. The Dawgs were victorious with a final score of 81-50. Braylon Wenger exploded for 39 points with four 3-pointers. McFarren also caught fire with 15 points. Steiner was close behind with 14 points. Bryce Johnson added five points. Coy Wenger, Braden Fiesler, Ethan Stutz and Quentin Lehman all scored two points each.
“We got off to a sluggish start, but a credit to Waynedale, who was under-manned, but played very hard,” Greenfelder said. “Our energy picked up midway through the second quarter with Braylon Wenger and Jack Steiner hitting some key shots that allowed us to stretch the lead at halftime. Our third quarter was something special. I have never been a part of anything quite like that, scoring 35 points in a single quarter. Braylon and Keller McFarren hit some big shots and our defensive intensity allowed us to take a close game and turn it into a rout.”
For Waynedale, Mark Yoder was the high scorer with 17 points. Matthias Raber totaled 16 points. Gavin Spitler recorded seven points. Jaden Zuercher and Jake Coblentz both had four points each. Evan Yoder added two points. The Golden Bears have a 6-8 overall record.
Greenfelder has been pleased with Dalton’s development over the season so far, as well as their commitment to improving as they approach the postseason.
“We have a challenging week ahead with three games that will challenge our toughness and conditioning,” said Greenfelder of his team’s upcoming games against Northwestern, Rittman and Lutheran East. “Our defense has been very strong at times this year, but we still need to put that defensive focus together for an entire game. We also need to continue to eliminate turnovers and be more efficient on offense. I am very pleased with our development as a team these last few weeks, which needs to continue as we get closer to the tournament.”
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