The Watertown-Mayer boys’ basketball team was in action only once last week, when they fell in Minnesota River Conference action at Mayer Lutheran, 66-49, on Friday, Jan. 10.
Despite the 17-point margin of victory, the Royals (6-7, 2-3 MRC) actually hung right with the Crusaders most of the night. Mayer Lutheran, after using a late run to pull away, moved to 9-3 overall and 5-0 in the MRC.
With about 8 minutes left, Mayer Lutheran actually was nursing just a two-point lead at 43-41. However, Watertown-Mayer went cold from the field and turned the ball over several times over the next couple minutes, allowing Mayer Lutheran to surge in front. Strong free throw shooting down the stretch for the Crusaders after the Royals starting fouling padded Mayer Lutheran’s lead further.
“Mayer is very good,” Watertown-Mayer coach Bob Hennen said. “They are so athletic and physical with good skills.”
Watertown-Mayer actually held a five-point lead early in the game before a Mayer Lutheran run put the Crusaders on top, 22-15. However, Watertown-Mayer closed the half with a 14-7 run of its own to tie the game at 29-29 at halftime. Hunter Hulley had 12 of his 14 points in the first half.
Ryne Alger scored nine points in the first half, but was even better in the second, finishing with a team-high 21 points. He was 9-for-15 from the field.
“He played his best varsity game,” Hennen said.
As a team, the Royals shot 19-for-47 from the field, but hit just 3 of 14 three-pointers and just 8 of 18 free throws. Mayer Lutheran shot 22-for-42 from the field, 4-for-10 from behind the arc, and went 18-for-31 from the foul line.
The Royals were also in action Monday, Jan. 13, in a makeup game against Sibley East after last week’s game was postponed because of cold temperatures. The Royals will return to action when they play host to Jordan at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16. That game will be the team’s annual Hoops for Hope game, which will include a silent auction and other events.
The Royals will also play Saturday, Jan. 18, when they host Providence Academy at 7:30 p.m., and again on Tuesday, Jan. 21, when they play at Belle Plaine at 7:30 p.m.