Royals fall twice at Annandale Tourney

Ryne Alger vs. Chatfield. Brett Johnson vs Chatfield Hunter Hulley vs Chatfield Kurt Klitzke Luke Sandquist vs Chatfield
Luke Sandquist vs Chatfield

The Watertown-Mayer boys’ basketball team lost both games last week at the Annandale Tournament.

The Royals fell to Chatfield, 53-44 on Friday, Dec. 27. They also lost to Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 44-42, on Saturday, Dec. 28.

In the first round of the tournament against Chatfield, the Royals trailed early, 20-10, but closed to within two late in the first half. Chatfield eventually took a 26-23 lead into the half.

Chatfield quickly extended the lead to seven points early in the second half, but the Royals managed to hang around. The Royals cut the gap to two points several times and had numerous opportunities to tie or take the lead, but couldn’t convert.

The Royals were killed by Chatfield’s prowess on the offensive glass, and also turned the ball over frequently against Chatfield’s pressure defense. The Royals also struggled at the line, at one point missing seven consecutive free throws during a stretch that spanned parts of the first and second halves.

On a balanced scoring afternoon, the Royals were led by Ryne Alger and Luke Sandquist, who had seven points apiece. Brett Johnson, Hunter Hulley and Trae Berhow all scored six points, and Nick Parker had five Gabe Crowder added four points for the Royals and Kurt Klitzke hit a three.

Much like they did in the opening game of the tournament against Chatfield, the Royals struggled offensively in the first half of the consolation game against Zumbrota-Mazeppa. Zumbrota took a 24-16 lead into the half, but the Royals hung around after halftime to make it close until the end.

Alger scored a team-high 14 points for the Royals and Sandquist added nine.

The Royals will be back in action Friday, Jan. 3, when they host Dassel-Cokato in a non-conference game beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Royals will also play host to Sibley East in a Minnesota River Conference game on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

The Royals are currently 5-6 overall and 2-2 in the Minnesota River Conference.