After the Watertown-Mayer boys’ basketball team closed the regular season with loss to Norwood Young America in the team’s only game of the week last week, the Royals have now turned their attention to postseason play, which begins Thursday, March 7, at Glencoe-Silver Lake.
The Royals earned the No. 6 seed in Section 5AA after finishing the regular season with a 14-12 record. Glencoe-Silver Lake, which finished with a 13-13 record and beat the Royals 80-63 very early this season, is the No. 3 seed. Game time is 7 p.m.
“GSL is tough,” Watertown-Mayer coach Bob Hennen said. “They have very good guard play. We’ll need to take care of the ball and really be disciplined.”
The winner of Thursday’s first-round game advances to play Saturday, March 9, at Dassel-Cokato High School, at 8 p.m. That game would be against either second-seeded Howard Lake-Waverly Winsted or seventh-seeded Sibley East. The Royals went 2-1 against those teams this year, splitting the season series against Sibley East and knocking off HLWW on the road in overtime.
On the other half of the subsection bracket are top-seeded Jordan, fourth-seeded Mayer Lutheran, fifth-seeded Norwood Young America and eighth-seeded Providence Academy. The subsection championship game is set for Tuesday, March 12, at 8 p.m. at Dassel-Cokato High School.
“5AA is a tough subsection,” Hennen said. “Anyone has a chance.”
NYA 68, Royals 57
NYA used a late 9-0 run to pull away from Watertown-Mayer in Watertown and hand the Royals their third consecutive loss to end the regular season. The three-game slide comes on the heels of a stretch that saw the Royals win seven of eight.
NYA took an early seven-point in the regular-season finale. After the Royals whittled the lead down, another run gave the Raiders a 32-19 lead. However, the Royals were able to trim the deficit to four at halftime with a 9-2 run of their own.
The momentum seemed to carry over into the second half, when the Royals scored the first six points to take the lead. The lead switched hands numerous times, with Watertown-Mayer last holding a lead at 47-46. That’s when a 9-0 run gave the Raiders a 55-47 lead and all the momentum heading down the stretch.
“We missed a lot of good shots,” Hennen said. “It was frustrating because we would get there, but just could not finish the plays.”
Jacob Wandersee led the Royals with 14 points, while Barna Berenyi had 13, Kurt Klitzke had 12 and Caleb Fails had 11.
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]