Saturday, both Delta and Wapahani’s playoff runs came to an end.
The Eagles (19-10) started Saturday’s 3A semi-state at Elkhart with a 50-47 win over Glenn (17-11) in game one. It was a battle all the way to the final seconds.
That’s when junior Jonny Manor stepped up and drained a three-point shot that would be the game winning score. It was his third attempt in the final minute
“Well the first two were long but on line, so I had a feeling if I was open I’d hit it,” he said over texts.”I knew that the best look was probably going to be a 3 from me because they were helping off and doubling [junior] Jackson [Wors] and [junior] D’Amare [Hood]. So I had a feeling I was going to get a good look, and I needed to hit it and I did.
Their second game was against Northwood (27-2). And in the first few minutes, the Panthers did not disappoint as they jumped out to a 15-6 lead.
“I thought we played too much ISO ball in the first half,” Delta head coach Mark Detweiler said. “Guys just didn't move and they wanted to get the ball in their hands, and there was a really good dude in front of them. You know, I mean, a really good dude.”
In the first half, only one Eagle scored. Junior Jackson Wors finished the first half with 12-points and finished the game leading the team with 16.
After halftime, Delta fought back and cut the deficit to six. The Panthers went on another scoring run that held until the final score of 51-36
Before the game ended, Detweiler put all of the seniors in.
“I think this group had the right combination of things in terms of a very selfless senior group,” he said. “Some guys that never got on the floor, and I think that helped our junior group and kind of got their egos in check.”
But one senior stuck out. After starting all year and helping his team in many ways, senior Blake Jones gave an emotional waive to the Delta faithful and student section.
“It’s very special being a part of this program,” Jones said. “I'm so proud of this group. I'm proud of the coaches. It's just very, very special.”
Even though there was some rough weather throughout the day, Delta flans flocked their way to Elkhart. Jones appreciates the support.
“It just feels great,” he said. “You know, making a trip that's two and a half hours away, it just means a lot to us. Them showing their support to us is just so awesome.”
Even though the Eagles are losing a few seniors, most of the team is returning. Detweiler believes this will help the team next season.
“Northwood was here a year ago,” he said.” They were close you know and they came back hungry, and now they are the number one team in the state and are playing for a state championship. So, you know, there's no guarantees, but once you approach things the right way, you take this in you know, and hopefully that will serve you.”
In the 2A semi-state at Logansport, Wapahani’s (25-2) historic season came to an end in their first game. Their 59-54 battle with Lewis Cass ended with the Raiders falling just short.
Even though the two Delaware County teams came up short, they both had successful seasons. Before this year, Wapahani had never even won a regional. The Raiders were also the Delaware County Tournament champions.
For the Eagles, they went the furthest in the state tournament since they won state in 2002. But what was even bigger was something that Detweiler had never seen in his career.
“I've been in this for 25 years,” he said. “Where they were at the start of the season and where they are now. I've never had a team like this, you know. So what they've done is truly special.”
Contact Zach Carter with comments at email@example.com or on Twitter @ZachCarter85.