Cold shooting hurts Royals in losses
The Watertown-Mayer girls’ basketball team lost of pair of games last week, falling on the road to Norwood Young America and Rockford.
Rockford defeated the Royals 51-42 on Monday, Feb. 4. Norwood Young America defeated the Royals 60-37 on Thursday, Feb. 7.
“The two game were really similar in the fact we struggled to score in both games,” Watertown-Mayer coach John Rosholt said.
Rockford 51, Royals 42
Against Rockford, the Rockets pulled out to the early lead, using an 8-0 run to build a 13-5 advantage midway through the first half. However, the Royals began to chip away, eventually tying the game at 23 on a 3-pointer from Chelsea Wandersee with just under a minute left in the half, and again at 25 on a jumper from Claire Killian with 39.6 seconds remaining.
In the second half, the Royals even took an early lead, on a three from Wandersee, but the Rockets scored the next four baskets to go in front, 33-29. The Royals tied it again with back-to-back baskets from Kirsten Klitzke and Hannah Johnson, but Rockford began to take control from there. An 8-0 run gave Rockford a 41-33 lead with 5:19 remaining, a lead that was simply too large for the Royals to overcome.
The Royals struggled from the field in the loss, hitting only 28.8 percent of their shots overall and 20.8 percent of their 3-point shots. However, Wandersee was hot from long-range, hitting 4 of 8 threes, and leading the team with 14 points.
Klitzke added 12 points for the Royals to go with five rebounds. Killian had six points, four steals and three assists, Lexy Heldt had five rebounds and Courtney Fisher and Liz Miller had four rebounds apiece.
NYA 60, Royals 37
A 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer gave Norwood Young America a 27-20 lead at the break, and seemed to spur the Raiders on in the second half as well, as NYA pulled away for the Minnesota River Conference victory.
The Raiders scored the first 12 points of the second half to build a 39-20 lead, and the Royals were never able to get the deficit under 14 the rest of the way. NYA, tied for first place in the MRC at 11-1, led by as many as 29 points.
“In the second half, they shot the ball very well, and we did not defend the ball very well,” Rosholt said.
The Royals struggled in their shooting once again, this time shooting just 26.9 percent overall and 10.7 percent (3-for-28) from 3-point range.
“I thought we had some good looks in both the first and second half, but the shots just did not fall for us,” Rosholt said. “Not that we’re going to make every shot, but I thought we had some really good looks at the basket and shots didn’t fall.”
Klitzke led the Royals with 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting, but was the only Watertown-Mayer player in double figures. She added seven rebounds as well.
“Our bench is playing quite well,” Rosholt said. “We can go to anybody on our bench and feel confident with who we have on the floor. We get a nice spark with Kirsten Klitzke coming off the bench right now. She gives us a nice offensive spark.”
Wandersee had six points and four rebounds, and Miller had four points and six rebounds. Christine Kreatz had five rebounds.
The Royals took on Sibley East on the road on Tuesday, and return to action for their annual cancer fundraiser game Friday, Feb. 15, when they host Mayer Lutheran at 7:30 p.m. The Royals also host Eden Valley Watkins on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m.
Watertown-Mayer is now 10-11 overall and 7-5 in the MRC.
Contact Matt Bunke at email@example.com