Royals pick up MRC win, stay in hunt for second place
The Watertown-Mayer boys’ basketball team split a pair of games last week, falling in a tough loss to Rockford, but beating Norwood Young America in the only conference game of the week.
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the Royals took on Rockford, which rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to beat the Royals, 47-44. However, Watertown-Mayer rebounded to win a Thursday, Feb. 14, road matchup against NYA, 53-45.
With those results, the Royals sat at 12-9 overall at the end of the week. In the Minnesota River Conference, the Royals are in third place at 6-4. Jordan leads the league at 10-2 and Mayer Lutheran is second at 8-4.
The Royals took on Belle Plaine at home on Monday, and were at Sibley East on Tuesday. The Royals return to the court Friday, Feb. 22, when they host Mayer Lutheran at 7:30 p.m. in a game that could go a long way in deciding second place in the conference. The Royals also host Litchfield on Friday, Sat. 23, at 7:30 p.m.
Rockford 47, Royals 44
The Royals led by two at halftime and extended the lead to nine points in the second half, but Rockford came storming back. The Rockets eventually took a lead as big as six points, and then held off a late Watertown-Mayer rally to pick up the non-conference win in Watertown.
“We just did not play as well as we have been and had chances, but did not capitalize,” Watertown-Mayer coach Bob Hennen said. “We just went cold and had a few bad possessions.”
The Royals actually fell behind 6-0 early before rallying to take the lead by halftime. Luke Sandquist had 12 points in the first half.
“We played OK, but just did not capitalize on so many easy looks, and we did not rebound well,” Hennen said of the first half.
Overall, Sandquist and Jacob Wandersee each finished with a team-high 16 points.
Royals 53, NYA 45
Watertown-Mayer jumped out to an early 8-2 lead and led from start to finish in picking up a road conference win over the Raiders.
The royals led by five points at halftime, with Barna Berenyi leading the way with seven points before the break.
“We played well, but we took a lot of quick shots, and they were not falling,” Hennen said of the first half. “The defense was very good.”
The Royals quickly pushed their lead to double digits in the second half. NYA eventually cut the lead back down to 2 points, but Berenyi and Wandersee both buried threes to pad the Royals’ cushion. After that, Hennen said the Royals made their free throws and got big defensive stops to hold off the Raiders.
Sandquist had 10 of his 14 points in the second half, and he added 12 rebounds. Mark Sandquist also had 12 rebounds, while Berenyi had 10 points, Caleb Fails had eight, Wandersee had seven, and Hunter Hulley had six.
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