The Watertown-Mayer girls’ basketball team got red-hot last week, winning all three of its games — two of them in blowout fashion — to move to 3-2 on the year.
The week started with a 79-34 blowout victory over LeSueur-Henderson on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The Royals kept that momentum going two days later when they routed Belle Plaine, 74-45.
In the team’s third game in five days on Saturday at Mound-Westonka, it seemed like the busy schedule might finally catch up with the Royals, especially after the Whitehawks opened up with a 15-5 lead. However, the Royals righted the ship and emerged with a 61-56 win on Dec. 14.
“Offensively, we’re playing a bit better,” Watertown-Mayer coach John Rosholt said. “We’re shooting the ball better than we did in the first week, so that helps us out quite a bit. I thought that’s the theme of this week, is that offensively, we’re making good improvements.”
Royals 79, LSH 34
Chelsea Wandersee and Kirsten Klitzke both poured in 19 points as the Royals cruised to a victory on the road.
The outcome was never in doubt, as the Royals scored the game’s first 25 points, holding LeSueur-Henderson without a basket until the 12:15 mark of the first half. Klitzke had 8 points in that 25-0 run to open the game, and Wandersee hit a pair of threes. Anna Barfknecht also had five early points, including a three-pointer.
The Royals ended the half with a 30-point lead, 47-17, and quickly extended the lead with a three-pointer from Claire Killian just 8 seconds into the second half.
Killian added nine points for the Royals, who got at least 2 points from 11 different players. Liz Miller grabbed 13 of the team’s 37 rebounds, and Killian dished out seven assists to go with three steals.
Royals 74, Belle Plaine 45
Killian dropped a season-high 28 points as the Royals built an 18-point halftime lead at home and never looked back.
The Royals got off to a strong start again, this time taking a 9-2 lead in the game’s first 4:09. The Tigers quickly closed the gap to 11-7, but an 11-0 run for the Royals gave them a 22-7 lead and set the tone for the remainder of the night.
Belle Plaine immediately answered with a 5-0 run to stay within shouting distance at 22-12 with 6:35 left in the half, but Watertown-Mayer came back with a 14-4 run of its own to push the lead back to 36-16. The Royals led 36-18 at halftime.
The Royals continued to pad their lead in the second half, and for the second game in a row, their final margin of victory was their biggest lead of the night.
Killian added 10 steals and six rebounds to go with her 28 points, and Klitzke pitched in with another solid effort, this time scoring 15 points to go with five assists, four steals and three rebounds. Miller finished with a team-high nine rebounds and Victoria Lynch added eight. Wandersee chipped in with three steals for the Royals, who had 20 of them in the game.
Royals 61, M-W 61
A 15-5 start for Mound-Westonka had the Royals on shaky ground early, but Watertown-Mayer quickly regrouped. After scoring just two field goals in the first 11:44 of the half, the Royals used a 20-6 run over the final 6:16 to take a 25-21 lead at halftime. With the game tied at 21-21, Ashley Wiswell scored two buckets in the final 35 seconds of the half to give her team the lead in the locker room.
“Our bench came through big time in the first half,” Rosholt said. “They came out and they played really well. They shut Mound down.”
The Royals quickly pushed the lead to as many as 13 points in the second half when a basket from Klitzke gave the Royals a 36-23 lead, and again when a 3-pointer from Killian put the Royals in front, 40-27. However, Mound-Westonka turned the tables, using a 12-0 run to pull within 40-39 with 10:38 left to play.
The Royals used another quick run of their own, pushing the lead back to 10 points at 55-45 with 4:25 left. Mound-Westonka eventually closed to within three with 19 seconds left, but that was as close as the Whitehawks got.
Klitzke led the Royals with 21 points, and she also had three rebounds and three assists. Killian added 17 points, five assists and three steals, Wandersee had 12 points, Miller had seven rebounds and Wiswell had six rebounds.
The Royals were also in action at home on Tuesday against Norwood Young America, and they’ll hit the court once again when they host Delano at home on Thursday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m.