The season came to an end for the Watertown-Mayer boys’ basketball team last Thursday night with a 71-62 first-round playoff loss at Glencoe-Silver Lake.
Sixth-seeded Watertown-Mayer battled-back from early 10-point deficit to take a halftime lead in the Section 5AA game, but Glencoe-Silver Lake rebuilt a double-digit lead in the second half and held on late to knock off the Royals, who finished with a final record of 14-13.
The Royals started slowly as Glencoe-Silver Lake built a 16-6 lead, but roared back in a hurry. Consecutive threes from Barna Berenyi and Hunter Hulley and a basket from Mark Sandquist trimmed the lead to two points before the Panthers briefly slowed the Royals momentum with a basket. But Watertown-Mayer answered with another big run, eventually pushing gaining a lead as big as 26-20.
Glencoe-Silver Lake, however, managed to cut the deficit to 27-26 with a 6-1 run to close the half, a stretch that Watertown-Mayer coach Bob Hennen felt was pivotal in the outcome.
“That was a key stretch,” he said. “We had some shots go in and out at the end of the half, and they made a big three. We were close to going in with a bigger lead, but regardless, it was a nice to answer to their opening run.”
Glencoe-Silver Lake held a 39-37 lead at one point in the second half, but that’s when Ethan Maas hit two three-pointers in transition to push the Panthers’ lead to eight points. Eventually, the lead grew to as many as 13 points.
Still, the Royals didn’t have any quit in them, using a couple of 3-pointers from Jacob Wandersee to cut the lead to five points, 64-59, with a little more than a minute to play. The Royals got a number of looks at 3-pointers down by five, but couldn’t convert as Glencoe-Silver Lake was able to hang on for the win.
“The kids played hard,” Hennen said. “They gave everything they could. We just fell a little short.”
Wandersee had 16 points to lead the Royals’ offense, while Hulley finished 14, 12 of which came in a nice first half. Luke Sandquist had 10 points and seven rebounds, Kurt Klitzke had seven points, Berenyi had six points and five rebounds and Grotbo had five points.
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