The Watertown-Mayer girls’ basketball team picked up a pair of easy home wins last week, knocking off Tri City United, 66-44 on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and LeSueur-Henderson, 60-26, on Thursday, Jan. 31.
With the wins, the Royals moved back above .500 to 10-9 overall this season. Even more importantly, they moved into a third-place tie in the Minnesota River Conference with Mayer Lutheran at 7-4.
“That was two nice wins for us coming off the Minnehaha loss,” Watertown-Mayer coach John Rosholt said. “It was nice for us to bounce back. We showed some focus in doing that.”
Royals 66, TCU 44
Tri City hung around for much of the first half, trailing by just seven points at 19-12 more than halfway through the first half. However, the Royals closed the half on a 19-6 run to go into the locker room with a 38-18 lead.
A nice run to open the second half for TCU had the Royals’ lead down to 44-31, but Watertown-Mayer began to pull away from there. An 18-7 run pushed the lead to 22 points for the Royals at 62-40, their biggest lead of the game and also the final margin of victory.
Kirsten Klitzke led the way for the Royals with 18 points and five steals, and Claire Killian also had 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Hannah Johnson added eight points, but Rosholt was most encouraged by the combined 15 points from Christine Kraetz and Lexy Heldt. Kraetz had nine and Heldt finished with six.
“I thought the last two games we’ve gotten some scoring out of our post players, which has really been solid for us,” Rosholt said. “That’s very helpful. I think that’s one of the things in the Tri City game is the combined scoring of our post, which I’d like to see a little more of.”
Kreatz and Heldt each contributed six rebounds as well, while Liz Miller had five. Chelsea Wandersee had five points and three steals.
Royals 60, LSH 26
LeSueur-Henderson never had much of a chance in this one, as the Royals raced out to an 11-0 lead and never trailed by fewer than nine points the rest of the way.
In fact, the Royals continued to build their lead throughout much of the first half, pulling ahead 27-6 on a basket from Ashley Wiswell and 46-16 – the team’s halftime advantage – on a jumper from Hannah Johnson with 44 seconds left in the first half.
The Royals continued to pour it on in the second half, scoring the first 12 points to take a 58-16 lead before easing up the rest of the way. LeSueur-Henderson didn’t score a point until 7:53 had gone by in the second half.
“I was very pleased with the team defense we played in that game,” Rosholt said.
On yet another balanced scoring night, Killian led the way with 14 points and Wandersee had 13. Hannah Johnson had nine points and Klitzke had eight, while Wiswell and Courtney Fisher both finished with six. Wiswell and Miller both corralled a team-high six rebounds for the Royals, while Heldt had five and Wandersee had four. Wandersee also added four steals, as did Killian, while Klitzke dished out three assists and had three steals.
The Royals were also in action Monday on the road against Rockford, and they’ll return to the court on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Norwood Young America at 7:30 p.m. The Royals will play their third consecutive road game on Tuesday, Feb. 12, when they take on Sibley East at 7:30 p.m. The Royals return home on Friday, Feb. 15 against Mayer Lutheran.
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]