Royals lose first MRC game

Watertown-Mayer's Anna Barfknecht dribbles around a defender during a game earlier this season.
Watertown-Mayer’s Anna Barfknecht dribbles around a defender during a game earlier this season.

The Watertown-Mayer girls’ basketball team lost its first Minnesota River Conference game of the season last week, falling 65-44 at Jordan on Friday, Jan. 24.

The loss creates a tie atop the Minnesota River Conference halfway through the schedule. Watertown-Mayer and Jordan are both 6-1, and Norwood Young America is just a half game behind at 5-1.

The Royals hung around early against Jordan, when two consecutive 3-pointers from Anna Barfknecht had the Royals with two each time, the latter at 17-15 with 10:27 left in the half. Another three from Allison Anderson had the Royals within 19-18 with 7:43 left in the half, but Jordan slowly began to pull away from there.

A quick 5-0 run for Jordan extended the lead to 24-18. Later, a 6-0 run pushed the lead into double digits for the first time, 32-22, with 1:39 left in the half, a score that remained the same until halftime.

The Royals still trailed by just 10, 39-29, with 13:09 to play after a three from Claire Killian. However, that’s when Jordan put together a 9-0 run to put the game away, taking a 48-29 lead with 11:50 to play.

Watertown-Mayer threatened to get back into the game, using a 7-0 run of their own to trim the gap to 48-36 with 9:33 left. However, Jordan was able to hold the Royals to eight points the rest of the way.

Kirstin Klitzke’s 14 points led the Royals, and she also contributed four rebounds and three assists. Barfknecht finished with 11 points, while Killian added 10 points and five steals. Liz Miller led the Royals with 11 rebounds and Lexy Heldt added five.

The Royals struggled shooting the ball, going just 15-for-63 (23.8 percent) from the field. Though they hit some threes at key moments, they also struggled from long range, hitting 6 of 25 attempts (24 percent). Watertown-Mayer also turned the ball over 17 times compared to just four for Jordan.

The Royals also took on Belle Plaine on the road on Tuesday, Jan. 28, after this edition went to press. They’ll also play Norwood Young America on the road on Friday, Jan. 31, and travel to take on Minneapolis Henry at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3.