‘Hysteria’ at Irondale: Fourth annual tourney sees Waconia beat home team
BY RYAN SCHLEICHER – SUN NEWSPAPERS
Irondale brought fans together for their fourth annual “Hoops Hysteria” last week at Irondale High School when the Knights took on the fifth place ranked overall team in the state in the form of the Waconia Wildcats.
A game that fans came ready for seemed to have all the energy needed for a massive upset as Irondale held with the Wildcats through much of the first half. Senior guard and co-captain Jordan Boll didn’t have his best night from the floor only scoring five points, but it was his energy that spread throughout the team like wildfire. Senior forward Ben Ojika fed off the energy of Boll by scoring 16-points and did his best to create issues on the defensive end of the floor.
Irondale tried to keep this a low scoring game and was successful until senior guard from Waconia Matt Rachey found his shot from outside the 3-point line on his way to scoring a team high 19 of Waconia’s 63 points. Waconia defeated Irondale 63-38.
“Hoops Hysteria hasn’t been good to us,” said Irondale’s head coach Jon DeMars. “I thought we did a good job defensively, but we just could not score.”
Waconia, even with such an impressive win, has a lot of respect for the Irondale Knights and the way that they approach the game.
“Coach over there, he has those guys playing hard, something hard to do in a game with such circumstances,” said Waconia’s Head Coach Pat Hayes. Waconia closed out the first half with an 18-point advantage. At times, in the second half, Irondale looked as though they were going to mount a comeback, holding Waconia without a bucket for six minutes to open the second half. Irondale would was able to get within 12 points but just couldn’t keep Waconia off the glass from getting offensive rebounds and creating second shot opportunities.
With the win Waconia moves to 4-1 on the season without having played a game yet against a divisional opponent. “Our theme of the night was to play hard, play hard all the way to the end,” said DeMars. DeMars knows that it is the in conference games that really bear an influence on a season. Irondale sits with an overall record of 2-and-4, without having a played a divisional game. A season, that might be an uphill battle, will be made much more fulfilling as long as each and every Irondale players takes coach DeMars, “play hard” message to heart.