Watertown-Mayer boys win third straight game

The Watertown-Mayer boys’ basketball won its third consecutive game last week, beating LeSueur-Henderson 65-53 on the road Tuesday, Jan. 8. 

The win was the sixth in the last eight games for the Royals, and boosted the team’s record to a season-best two games over .500 at 7-5 overall. The Minnesota River Conference win also boosted the team’s conference record  to 2-1, good for third place behind Jordan and Mayer Lutheran (both 4-1).

We’re starting to play a bit better each game, and hopefully we can keep the winning ways going,” Watertown-Mayer coach Bob Hennen said. “Our guys are starting to contribute in a lot of ways, and we are becoming a better defense team.”

The game against LSH started out back and forth, though the Royals were eventually able to build a 20-12 lead. However, a few turnovers and poor shot selection helped the Giants close the gap before halftime, when the Royals led 23-20.

The Giants came out of the gates strong in the second half as well, quickly surging to a 26-25 lead. Watertown-Mayer answered with a 9-0 run, but LeSueur-Henderson came right back with a 9-0 run of their own to regain their 1-point edge.

“We had a few turnovers that led to breakouts for them, and they got some easy buckets,” Hennen said.

From there, however, Watertown-Mayer took control. Kurt Klitzke came off the bench to hit a pair of big 3-pointers, helping the Royals jump out to a lead as big as 14 points.

“Kurt’s threes were really big,” Hennen said. “It got our offense going.”

LeSueur-Henderson tried to claw back into the game by hitting some big 3-pointers in the closing minutes, but Watertown-Mayer was up to the challenge. The Royals hit 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch to hold off the Giants.

“It’s always nice to get a win on the road,” Hennen said. “We didn’t play great, but at the same time, we found a way to gut out a win.”

Luke Sandquist had a huge game for the Royals, notching 23 points, five blocks and for assists. Hunter Hulley was also in double figures with 12 points, and also added two blocks.

Mark Sandquist led the team with seven rebounds, also adding six points and four assists. Jacob Wandersee had nine points, Klitzke and Jacob Grotbo each had six points, and Barna Berenyi had five assists and two blocks.

The Royals were also in action on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at home against Sibley East, and will return to action Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Mayer Lutheran at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]