PHOTOS BY LISA McGINTY | LMc Photography
Braylon Wenger led the Bulldogs with 40 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Dalton’s Jack Steiner goes up for a basket against the Middlefield Cardinal Huskies. The Bulldogs won the Division IV Northeast 2 sectional final to advance to the district tournament.
By ARIEL STAHLER
Dalton’s varsity boys basketball team is heading toward its first district championship since 2002.
No. 7 seed Dalton High School won the Division IV Northeast 2 sectional final Feb. 24 against No. 15 Middlefield Cardinal 81-63. The Dawgs will play No. 4 Lowellville in the district semifinal game Feb. 28.
“We are happy to get a win and move on in the tournament,” said Dalton’s head coach Justin Greenfelder. “In my experience, the first tournament game is always a challenge as it is the first time the players experience a win-or-go-home game. We were able to settle in during the second half and pick up our defense and play our game. Braylon Wenger played an incredible game on both ends of the floor. His effort and intensity really carried us in the second half and gave the rest of the team confidence. Brady Hignight played a great all-around game, as well, playing great defense on Cardinal’s best guard in the second half and chipping in with 13 big points.”
Wenger dropped in five 3-pointers during his 40-point performance, which also included nine rebounds, four assists and four steals. He scored 24 points in the second half to propel his team to the next level of the tournament. Hignight finished with 13 points and Jack Steiner scored 12 points. Grayson Lehman totaled nine points. Keller McFarren sank a triple, while Braden Fiesler and Quentin Lehman scored two points each.
Greenfelder explained the keys to a win.
“If we are going to continue our tournament run, we need to pick up the intensity on the defensive end from the opening tip,” said Greenfelder. “We are looking forward to playing at the historic Struthers Fieldhouse next week and competing for Dalton’s first district championship since 2002.”
The No. 11 Comets finished their tournament run with a 55-46 loss to No. 9 Southern Local in the Division IV Northeast 1 sectional final game Feb. 24. Bryan Martin collected 15 points. Richard Carr added 14 points. Thatcher Rohrer finished with 11 points. Lyle Endsley and Silas Coleman both scored three points each.
Central finished the season with a 12-12 overall record and a 5-5 MBC record.
The Golden Bears got the win Feb. 22 over Independence 60-50.